Bombers save best for last in brilliant grand final display
AHEAD of the biggest game of the season, Fassifern coach Daniel Roos was even more relaxed than usual.
Defying any notion that a grand final brings with it heightened pressure and expectation, Roos even allowed himself to have a nap prior to arriving at North Ipswich Reserve for Saturday's showpiece event.
"I walked into the dressing room, looked around and I knew it right then - we were ready to play,” Roos said.
"Our training for the two weeks leading in had been spot on. I knew the guys would turn up with the right attitude.”
Skipper Aaron Adcock stepped out of the sheds with a similar air of confidence about him.
"I was probably more nervous last year when I wasn't playing,” Adcock revealed following the 32-10 A-Grade grand final victory.
"(Roos) is unusually cool - even coming into today. That helps us a lot, it rubs off on us.”
For the Fassifern five-eight and A-Grade Player of the Year, Saturday's 22-point win over Norths was a culmination of months of hard work, preparation, and vindication for the heartbreak of last season.
"I don't think there's any worse feeling on the footy field than losing a grand final,” Adcock said.
"You set yourself the goal at the start of the year to not just play in one, but win one.”
Off the back of 16-straight wins, Adcock said the Bombers had every reason to enter Saturday's contest confident of victory.
But there was no cockiness. The team knew they needed to perform, lest Norths do to them what they had to Brothers and Swifts in consecutive weeks.
"We probably came out and played the best 40 minutes of footy we played all year,” Adcock said, referring to the 28-nil halftime margin.
"Credit to Norths, they've been an awesome side all year. There's probably no team that deserved to play in a grand final more than them.
"To come from fourth position, Mick (Newton) has done an awesome job with them. To Scano (Chris Scanlan) and everyone in their organisation, they've done an awesome job.”
It was not just the Bombers' considerable win streak which built confidence in the side.
Rather the knowledge that when tested, they had held up time and time again over the course of the season.
"We've been made to work for them throughout the year,” Adcock said.
"The boys probably don't get enough credit for what they do in the tight situations - how resilient they are.
"There's been a lot of games this year where we've had to defend our line for two, three sets at a time to keep teams out.”
Roos said that was where the Bombers ultimately won the war against Norths when the match was there to be won in the first half.
"For two weeks, since we beat Swifts, defence has been our focus,” he said.
"We knew if we could keep a team under 10 points, we had the points in us to win.
"We play our best attack when our defence turns up. That was a big focus for us coming in, and they did it.”
Celebrating his seventh year as coach at the Bombers with a grand final victory, Roos said the win meant a lot to the club and community which had rallied around the team all year.
"I couldn't be more proud,” he said.
Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade grand final: Fassifern Bombers 32 (Lemeki Wraight 2, Braydon Mitchell, Leveni Kurimalawai, Eli Carter Nareki tries; Aaron Adcock 4 goals) def. Norths Tigers 10 (Kyle Blackman, Jonathan Newton tries; Jarrod Biggs goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.