St Edmund’s mates unite to chase Rangers grand final glory
BEING a group of mates and with a strong St Edmund's College connection, Ipswich Rangers had high hopes of achieving memorable results in this year's Normanby Cup.
The Ipswich rugby side has delivered in fine style.
Undefeated Rangers are chasing grand final glory against Logan on their home field at Woodend Park on Friday night.
Head coach Chad de Waard will miss being on the field for the title decider having torn the disc at the base of his neck playing against Riverside about six weeks ago.
On doctor's advice, the 40-year-old forward wisely gave up playing this season.
"I didn't even feel it in the game,'' he said. "It was a day later the pain just started hitting.''
He decided extended rest was needed to avoid any further complications.
However, the injury has allowed de Waard to concentrate on coaching alongside Rangers stalwart Stewart Banks, who also plays having a 30-year association with the club.
Managers Nicholas Pender, Trent Quinn and Nick Scott are well known regional sportsmen and administrators also helping out.
Rangers won all 12 matches in this year's Friday night competition, including a 29-5 major semi-final success over Logan a fortnight ago.
"If we play anywhere near our best, we will win,'' de Waard said, excited about the 8pm match played in 30 minute halves with a running clock.
"We need to show up.
"Logan are a good side and a very strong side and if they get on a bit of a roll momentum, they will be hard to stop.
"But if we get ahead early, that will suit us as we tend to be hitting our straps towards the end of the game.
"We're a very fit team and very strong around the park. We're very mobile as well.''
The team is led by on-field organiser Cal Waldum, with Luke Harm and Jarryd Verrenkamp as vice-captains.
Among the seasoned footballers are former Ipswich Jet Josh Seage and accomplished Brothers regular Jake O'Doherty.
"They probably started the season off a bit slow, the league guys, but once they got back to their rugby instincts, they certainly hit the park running,'' de Chaard said.
Most of the players are St Edmund's Old Boys, including Tierney brothers Jakob and Sam, and Brock McNulty.
"We gelled really well. They are a good group of guys,'' de Chaard said.
"We all get on really well with each other socially.
"It's an enjoyable group, very disciplined group as well.''
The Ipswich Rangers team: 1 - Jake O'Doherty, 2 - Stew Banks, 3 - Ryan Castles, 4 - Damien West, 5 - Luke Harm (vc), 6 - Jakob Tierney, 7 - Josh Seage, 8 - Joel Dennis, 9 - Andrew Kirk, 10 - Cal Waldrum (c), 11 - Jarryd Verrenkamp (vc), 12 - Brock McNulty, 13 - Chris Jones, 14 - Josh Grant, 15 - Sam Tierney. Bench: Matt Maclean, Matai Noble, Nick Munro, Isaac Creedy, Clint Piper, Steve Andrews, Lewis Boland.
Coaches: Chad de Waard, Stewart Banks. Managers: Nicholas Pender, Trent Quinn, Nick Scott.
First aid/medical: Gordon Murphy.
Injured players unavailable for grand final selection: Shane Larkman, Jake Seage, Chad de Waard, Cameron Stokes.
Normanby Cup grand final: Friday (8pm) at Woodend Park, Woodend - Ipswich Rangers v Logan.