Goodna Eagles captain Ramon Filipine and teammate Ben Niumata savour this afternoon’s Volunteers Cup grand final-winning moment at the North Ipswich Reserve. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Goodna Eagles captain Ramon Filipine and teammate Ben Niumata savour this afternoon’s Volunteers Cup grand final-winning moment at the North Ipswich Reserve. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Wait on to see if Goodna’s amazing dream team returns

HOW many of Goodna's entertaining, skilful and triumphant rugby league players will return for next year's Ipswich competition has everyone guessing.

Even coach Alistair Taua'aletoa was wisely cautious about predicting who will be back after Goodna's 44-14 Volunteers Cup grand final victory over Norths.

"It's probably a little bit too early to tell,'' the winning mentor said after another stunning performance this afternoon to wrap up the season.

"A lot of these guys are contracted out of state (like Sydney) to some other clubs.

"If they do decide to go back, that's on them but they will always have the opportunity to play with us if they decide to stay on.''

The dedicated coach deserved to share in the Goodna club's 11-game winning feat in what was a successful inaugural competition between Ipswich and Toowoomba teams.

"It was satisfying for the club,'' he said.

"From my perspective, it was more relief than anything.

"I didn't want the boys to feel the weight of expectation but I certainly did having the record that we did going into this game.

"Nothing less than a win was going to be good enough.''

The 2020 Volunteers Cup grand final-winning Goodna Eagles side. Picture: Bruce Clayton
The 2020 Volunteers Cup grand final-winning Goodna Eagles side. Picture: Bruce Clayton

The Eagles finished the 12-week season the way they started, with a razzle dazzle second half totalling eight tries for the match.

"The boys really turned up today,'' Taua'aletoa said.

"We had a couple of emotional messages from families that couldn't be here.

"The boys knew it was a very special day.

"We didn't want to feel the weight of the expectation. All we wanted to do was enjoy it for what it was.''

The Eagles had the grand final wrapped up at halftime, leading 28-4.

As was a regular feature of this year's Goodna team, seven different players scored.

The Goodna Eagles players thank their fans after winning the 2020 Volunteers Cup grand final at the North Ipswich Reserve. Picture: Bruce Clayton
The Goodna Eagles players thank their fans after winning the 2020 Volunteers Cup grand final at the North Ipswich Reserve. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Goodna's celebration at their clubhouse  focused on what can be achieved with the right mix of youth and experience.

A winning feeling is something to build on.

"It definitely is,'' Taua'aletoa said.

"Everybody wants to play for a winner so hopefully we'll keep them for next year.

"It puts the club in a good stead and gets some numbers through the gates.''

As for the Eagles' growing reputation as football entertainers, Taua'aletoa smiled his approval.

"I am proud of that,'' he said.

"I never restricted the boys to any sort of structure. I let them play to their natural talent and I think it showed.''

Among the Goodna young guns likely to return in 2021 is Elone Taufa, who fittingly scored his team's sixth try on his 19th birthday.

"He was a little bit quiet today,'' Taua'aletoa said.

"The occasion got the better of him but still happy he did his job and he was fantastic, like a lot of the boys were.''

The grand final  was played in front of the biggest crowd of the competition at the North Ipswich Reserve.

Volunteers Cup grand final: Goodna Eagles 44 (Fa'ata'ape Timau 2, Rez Phillips, Iosua Afoa, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, Elone Taufa, Christopher Schwalger, Trivendra Naidu tries; Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga 6 goals) def Norths Tigers 14 (Ethan Page, Luke Self, Tonga Mounga tries; Tonga Mounga goal) at North Ipswich Reserve.