QLD GPS: BBC Miss Out on Title But Make History at Ross Oval

By Finn Morton; Photo – BBC Rugby

Brisbane Boys’ College has ended a 34-year drought, defeating Nudgee 21-8 at Ross Oval for the first time since 1985. Both teams entered the fixture needing Ipswich to beat Southport to keep their title hopes alive, and while this wasn’t the case, history was still made on Ross.

BBC coach Shane Drahm was thrilled with his side’s history-making performance last Saturday. While he’s still disappointed they didn’t beat TSS and win the title, he was impressed with how the players lifted for this match.

“We were pretty confident. We knew we did enough to beat TSS. We watched that game and the Nudgee v TSS game; that was a pretty close one. When we looked at our strengths we were pretty confident that we had them covered,” Drahm said modestly.

“It’s the old cliché but we wanted to do the basic things well. Probably defence was probably the big one. They’ve got some strike weapons across the whole pitch, you know Reesjan [Pasitoa] is the best flyhalf in the competition. They’ve got a lot of pace out wide. We knew we had to be good in defence and make sure that we turned up and execute our systems the way we’ve trained all season.

“We tackled extremely well. We let them throughout in the wide channels, probably more than what we would’ve liked to, but the guts the boys showed, the character was outstanding.”

BBC Centre Jack Howarth used his pace and fast feet to recover from dropping a pass; breaking the Nudgee defensive line on his way to the first five-pointer of the match.

Nudgee responded with a penalty ten minutes later, and an unconverted try 30 minutes into the match to take an 8-7 lead into the break. According to Drahm, that is exactly where the College wanted to be as he prepared his halftime talk.

“At halftime we wanted to play territory. I think we could’ve played it a little bit more but Nudgee dug in well as they do, and created some opportunities. That character in defence was outstanding.

“We’re right in the game, we don’t have to change anything. We don’t need to go away from anything that we’ve trained all season, we just need to do what we do well and play a bit more field position; kick it into the corner and use our strong kick chase.”

The half-time pep talk seemed to motivate the students from Toowong, seeing them start very well in the second term. In the 44th minute, front-rower Jake Tierney crossed over from 2 metres out, handing the College a 6-point lead after a successful conversion.

14-8 is how the scores remained until the 70th minute where Howarth crossed for his second, capping off what was a meaningful and historic display from the students donning the green, white and black – some for the second last time.

“It was huge. There’s still that little bit of emptiness that we didn’t get the premiership. In our heads anyway we feel that we deserved it, and when I say deserved it’s probably not the right word – we were good enough to win it.

“We spoke about it during the week, we actually thought that it was 1972 that was the last time that BBC had won on Ross, but it was ’85 and I think that the time before that was 1957. It’s the third time we’ve won on Ross Oval in approximately seventy years.

“We spoke about it, it’s comparative to the Crusaders in Christchurch or the All Blacks at Eden Park. Nudgee are the pinnacle of particularly Queensland schoolboy rugby if not Australian schoolboy rugby.

“For us, we’re building a culture at BBC and the boys have just done an amazing job with that, and we saw that with the support afterwards. For me personally I’ve really struggled to get those images out of my head from after the TSS game. So seeing how proud and happy they were; it’s a big reason I coach.”

In the other games, the Southport School survived a scare from Ipswich Grammar, securing the undefeated premiership with a 29-all draw. While it wasn’t required, the Gold Coasters looked desperate for a victory up until the final play, where winger Hamish Roberts was tackled into touch.

Churchie has continued their impressive month of GPS rugby, winning their third in a row by defeating Toowoomba 24-17 at home.

Brisbane Grammar are still searching for their first win of the 2019 season after they were outclassed by State High 47-21. The loss hands BGS the wooden spoon, but they’ll have the chance to finish on a positive next Saturday away to Toowoomba.

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