Langer Reserve Season Report
The Grand Final of the Langer Reserve competition on Wednesday at Kougari Oval saw the Keebra Park Open B’s topple Wavell SHS 22 to 6. After finishing the regular season undefeated, Keebra kicked off and saw Wavell go 90 metres off the first set and go on to dominate possession early. Wavell led 6-10 after only 10 minutes of play.
However, Keebra Park managed to turn momentum in their favour, mostly thanks to the huge impact of forward Mathias Smalley, who made several damaging runs and heavy contact in defence. Captain Tuki Seiulli then led from the front by carrying 5 defenders over the line to score. Shortly afterwards, Jacob Leung-Wai Milo pushed up in support to crash over under the posts, giving Keebra Park a 12-6 lead at half time.
The boys started the second half with a lot of energy and aggression, putting together a dominant half of football and never giving Wavell a chance to get back in the game. Logan Watene scored a great wingers’ try off the back of a break from hooker Jackson Rowheder to extend the lead to 16-6. Then, with 10 minutes remaining in the game, experienced Five-Eight, Jaylon To’o sliced straight through off a scrum play to close out the game 22-6.
Jaylon To’o was awarded Man of the Match, which was presented by Broncos legend Mick De Vere.
The Langer Reserve Most Valuable Player (MVP) for 2018 was awarded to fullback Jahream Bula, a particularly great achievement considering he missed two games playing in the Open A’s side. Congratulations Jahream.
Throughout the season, the Open B’s used a total of 35 players from within the Rugby League Academy. To put this into perspective, most NRL clubs use less than 30 players throughout a 26-week competition. This highlights the depth of talent at Keebra Park and the commitment each athlete shows within the Academy, to not only attend every training session, but to also take every opportunity to learn and improve their game. At the start of the season, the Open B’s boys came together to set two collective performance goals- one team based and one individual in nature. Looking back, the team goal, of winning the Langer Reserve Trophy, was a success, even more so that the team went undefeated. The team is also well on track with the individual goal of getting as many boys from the ‘B’ team to progress into the ‘A’ side. So far this season, 16 out of the 35 boys who have played for the Open B’s have also been rewarded with an opportunity to wear the prestigious Keebra Park Open A’s jersey, yet another testament to the resilience and determination of the boys.
It is also worth noting that the Keebra Park Open C’s side made the Grand Final of the Titans Cup competition, which would have qualified them into the knock out stages of the GIO Competition, had our Open A’s not automatically qualified as 2017 National Champions. This is a huge achievement, especially when considering the Open C’s were playing against other schools’ Open A’s teams, which only further demonstrates the depth of talent within the program. A great example of this is McKenna Geno, a student who moved to the Gold Coast from PNG at the start of the year. McKenna came off the bench for the Open C’s in round 1 this year and worked extremely hard to progress to being a mainstay in the Open B’s. His hard work culminated in his selection on the bench for the Open A’s in their last game of the regular season against St. Mary’s.
Although the Langer Reserve season is complete, the boys will continue to train and be encouraged to work harder to push for selection in the Open A’s side throughout the remainder of the term. Open A’s coach, Glen Campbell and the rest of the coaching staff pride themselves on picking the best 17 players each week, regardless of reputation or history, so “if you want their spot, take it from them.”
Congratulations on a great season boys. It has been an absolute pleasure to coach you throughout the year. The amount of dedication and commitment you all put in to improving every single session is outstanding and I am so happy you got to reap the rewards by bringing the trophy home. To those who are graduating at the end of the year, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and hope you succeed in whatever you do. – Coach Norman