The Woongarra Wizards from Woongarra State School have won the 2019 Under 12 Wide Bay NRL Development Cup in a tough game against out-of-town rivals at One Mile State School.
The grand final for the Under 12 NRL Development Cup was held at Salter Oval on Thursday afternoon and it was the first time Woongarra State School had ever won, scoring the winning try in the last minutes of the game.
Woongarra Wizards coach and school PE teacher Jason Shears said the school was a semi-finalist in 2005 and the runner-up in 2010, so it showed how good the current team was.
“These guys have been the best rugby league team that have come through Woongarra in my time there, which has been 20 years,” Mr Shears said.
“It was very much a game of two halves during this game.
“We had a sensational first half and couldn’t wish for it to be any better, we had all the momentum going in at half time, but then we had a mistake straight from kick off, which put One Mile on the front foot and then we really had to scramble in the second half and we showed a lot of guts and effort and we scored the winning try.”
Mr Shears said he was proud of the team just for getting to the grand final of the Wide Bay NRL Development Cup, and it didn’t matter about the final result.
“Win, lose or draw, I said to the boys before the game I was still going to be proud because of the effort they put in from the start,” Mr Shears said.
Woongarra Wizards wowed everyone
You couldn’t wipe the smile off the face of Woongarra State School Principal Jeff Irwin as he congratulated the players, saying they had put in a fantastic effort from day one.
“I am incredibly proud, it was a fantastic effort by the boys – it is the first time the school has ever won at this level,” Mr Irwin said.
“We’ve been to this game twice and last time we lost it by two points, so it's nice to win it by two points this time.”
To get to this level Mr Irwin said the team had to defeat all of the other local school teams, and then compete against Gayndah State School and win, before taking on One Mile State School in the final of the Under 12 Wide Bay NRL Development Cup on Thursday.
Mr Irwin said the team was made up of 20 students from Year 5 and 6, and although only 17 could take to the field each week they had needed all 20 players through-out the season.
He said the team came together and played hard to take out the win at Salters Oval.
All about the team work
Player of the Match went to Woonie Beau Molo; Mr Irwin said the hard running-forward’s tackling was outstanding and that Beau also scored the first try of the game.
It was the first time Team Captain Otis Kaye, 11, had played in the NRL Development Cup and he said he was really proud to be part of the team.
“I was too young to play last year, and I am so proud of my team mates today,” Otis said.
“There were so many good supporters here and a big thank you to everyone involved from the referees to the teachers.”
Year 6 student and Woongarra Wizards full-back Mitchell Webster was proud to take to the field in front of his grandparents who had travelled from New South Wales to watch him play.
Mitchell’s mum Suzie Webster said she’d watch every match and it was a wonderful achievement from the entire Woongarra team.
“Mr Shears has done an awesome job coaching all of the boys,” Suzie said.
“I was a bit nervous watching the team at the start, but I am so proud of all of them for coming home with this win.”
Mr Irwin said Woongarra State School had a proud history in sports and they had their netball team just return from Central Queensland after coming fifth out of about 50 teams.
“Our kids really just love taking part in sports, we are absolutely thrilled to win today at this level – it’s a real proud moment,” he said.
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