Successful formula behind Norths 'Super Seven'
WHEN your club has seven teams contesting junior grand finals, those involved must be doing something right.
That's exactly the case for the Norths Tigers, who are represented in six of the nine rugby league divisions at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex on Saturday.
That includes the Under-14 Premier competition rated "the decider'' because the Tigers have Norths Gold and Norths Blue playing each other at noon.
The Blue side finished minor premiers but the Gold team advanced directly to the grand final with a 34-18 win a fortnight ago.
This year's remarkable Norths success matches last season where the club had the same number of teams reach grand finals. However, last year had three more grades, making this year's achievement more significant.
In his second year as club president, Jason Brennan praised the work of those helping the kids enjoy their rugby league.
"For us, it's more just about getting all the things right off the field,'' Brennan said.
"The coaching and education and all that sort of stuff.
"They all seem to be enjoying themselves on and off the field and the results come at the end of it.''
Apart from the Under-14 Premier division Origin style clash, Norths have teams in U12 Premier, U13 Premier, U15/14 Development, U15 Premier and U17 Development competitions.
Norths nearly had an eighth team qualify with the club's under-17 Premier side only losing 38-34 to Goodna last weekend.
Brennan is thrilled to see the club represented across so many grades, catering for those more competitive and the youngsters just wanting to have fun with their mates.
"The progression of the 15's Gold side has probably been one of the bigger things,'' he said.
"They went straight through to the grand final.
"That's been an age group in that development division where we have struggled. They never made the finals. They always finished at the bottom of the table.
"So just to see those kids, that have been at the club their whole life, toil away to get that sort of success . . . it's sort of like a combination of shock - that they'd actually made it through - and excitement at the same time.
"Watching them enjoy it, because they struggled for years, is probably the highlight of my season.''
The club's other grand final teams include minor premiers in the under-13, under-14 (Norths Blue team) and under-17 competitions.
Norths have 500 kids involved in 34 teams from under-6 to under-17.
"This is probably the third year we've had these sort of numbers in grand finals,'' Brennan said. "It probably started building a couple of seasons before that.
"Like with anything, putting the right structures in place . . . the right mentality around the club.''
With such a big day in store, the Norths club is setting up a marquee at the venue on Saturday to give the club a base from which to reflect on their season successes.