Ipswich Rangers’ dominant season came to nought on Saturday as they lost the Barber Cup grand final 42-34 to Pine Rivers. Rangers’ lineout (left) struggled against a fired-up Boars forward pack.
Ipswich Rangers’ dominant season came to nought on Saturday as they lost the Barber Cup grand final 42-34 to Pine Rivers. Rangers’ lineout (left) struggled against a fired-up Boars forward pack. Jay Buchan

Rangers toppled as Boars show class

RECENT history counted for nothing as Pine Rivers upturned the form book to beat Ipswich Rangers in the Barber Cup grand final.

The Boars beat an out-of-sorts Rangers 42-34 in a free-flowing match at Bottomley Park, Coorparoo, on Saturday.

Pine Rivers proved themselves the dominant force in Brisbane Subdistricts rugby, despite losing to Rangers in their three previous meetings this year.

Rangers wrested the title from the Boars in last season’s grand final.

But with titles in 2011 and 2009, as well as runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2010, Pine Rivers has established the sort of dynasty Rangers aspire to.

On Saturday the Boars showed the greater desire and commitment while Rangers looked like they’d forgotten their lines.

Tackling seemed an after-thought in the first half as both teams scored almost at will to go to the break at 27-all.

Rangers scored the first try of the second half in which both teams tightened things up.

Running into the breeze, Rangers tried to play more directly but the Pine Rivers’ defence was more than a match, out-muscling their rivals at the breakdown.

The scrums were a mess and Rangers’ lineout malfunctioned, meaning halfback Isaac Creedy and five-eighth Stewart Banks rarely received clean ball to attack with.

Without it, they seemed bereft of a means to get over a team they had previously dominated.

Poor option taking under pressure then gave the Boars the incentive to power home.

Pine Rivers inside centre and captain Jamie Tupaea was the architect behind an aggressive forward platform.

“Shattered,” was the first thing Ipswich captain Cade Hill could muster after fulltime.

“We were well below par.

“Our defence was appalling in the first half.

“We needed to spread out more but it seems no-one paid attention.”

Rangers, so sure of their structures all season long, found they were of little use when they were getting out-muscled.

“The whole game they got us at the breakdown,” Hill said.

“They continued to dominate in the second half and fully deserved to win.”

Hill put his team’s set piece vulnerability down to the Boars’ tenacity.

“It was the pressure,” he said. “We got out-enthused.”

Disappointed his team didn’t bring it on the day, Hill was proud of their efforts throughout this season in which Saturday’s loss was just their third.

Rangers’ Reserves lost their Pegg Cup grand final earlier to Beenleigh 28-20, demonstrating the club’s depth.

“The goal at the start of the year was to make the (grand) final and we gave it a shot,” Hill said.

“It was great for the club to have two teams in the final.”

It was little consolation, however, as Hill lamented his team’s attitude deficiency when it mattered most.

“I think a few of the boys might have thought it was going to be a bit of a walk in the park considering we had beaten them the last six games,” he said.

FINAL REVIEW

Barber Cup: Pine Rivers 42 d Ipswich Rangers 32.

Pegg Cup: Beenleigh 28 d Ipswich Rangers 20.