The West Belconnen Warriors have won the inaugural West Belconnen Warriors Nines Tournament 16-10 over the Tuggeranong Bushrangers on a stunning Canberra Day long weekend.
West Belconnen President Steve Kirby said that he was really happy with how the tournament turned out.
“We will probably start (planning) tomorrow (for a second tournament). We will consult with the teams which participated and see what we work on for next year to make it bigger and better,” he said.
Belconnen looked well composed heading into the grand final after big wins in the quarter and semi-finals over Gungahlin and Albury respectively.
The Bushrangers came into the final as underdogs with close wins over the Goulburn and Queanbeyan.
Tuggeranong head coach Justin Giteau said he was happy with his team for getting as far as they did.
“We played to our ability. We initially came in to use it like a trial and give some guys some match fitness as this is our first hit out,” he said.
The Warriors came out firing with plenty of possession on the Bushrangers line but were unable to convert as captain Ryan McQueen dropped the ball while in the motion of scoring.
The Bushrangers capitalised on the mistake with a superb 40/20 kick from Sean Fisher on the last phase of play, leading to the first try by Jack Heyman under the posts.
Tuggeranong displayed ill-discipline towards the end of the first half, letting Belconnen edge closer to their line before Ricky Fulivai showed some impressive footwork to cross the over.
It was all Bushranger possession in the first few minutes of the second half thanks to some simple errors by Belconnen.
Tuggeranong playmaker Sean Fisher crossed over for a try after slippery fullback Jayden Pollard broke up the Warriors defensive line.
Belconnen player Harry Brown said that he had faith they would come back from being 10-4 down after having an intense preseason.
“Pre-season has been really good. We have been doing a lot of fitness and I think that helped us today,” he said.
Tuggeranong began to look tired and so Belconnen pounced. Nela Moa made a break then carried several players with him over the line with him to level scores.
Harry Brown ducked and weaved through the Tuggeranong defence from ten metres out to score the matchwinner under the posts.
The Canberra Raiders Cup First Grade competition begins on April fifth, with both teams hoping to continue the momentum they have gained for a strong season.