Our U9's have gone back to back as Albany 7's Champions after taking the title in 2020 as U8's and 2021 as U9's.
After a very successful inaugural Albany 7’s tour last year in 2020 where the Rucking Bro’s took top honours as the U8 Cup Champions, it was time to hit the highways and see if we could push the boundaries of success again.
After topping our pool on day 1, it was a tough start to day 2 in the first of the semi-finals against Nedlands North. After successfully negotiating Neddie’s, we were soon to learn our faith which would see the Rucking Bro’s face off against the Mandurah Pirates in a repeat of last year’s U8 final.
Running through a JBRUFC Guard of Honour tunnel formed by all the other JBRUFC age groups, parents, and coaches, the Rucking Bro’s took to the field like the professionals they are.
The Pirates took first blood, but the Rucking Bro’s soon went over to level the score, only for the Pirates to get another try going in at halftime 1-2. A minute or two into the second half the Pirates struck again taking the score out to 1-3. Our hearts and dreams sank; however, this rallied and lifted the team, and with some enormous tackling from Shane Phelan & Ryan John’s to name a few, backed up by multiple support players, saw the Rucking Bro’s cripple the Pirates attack resulting in numerous turnover ball. Seconds out from the final whistle, the Rucking Bro’s converted that pressure into points and went over again to tie the game at 3-3 and take it to extra time.
The Rucking Bro’s won the coin toss and elected to receive the kick-off. The Pirates kick-off was caught by Divan Viljoen who cut across the field and then straightened the attack going coast to coast down the left-hand touchline to secure the U9 Cup Champions win for the Rucking Bro’s with the golden try score. It is an understatement to say that the Sideline went wild, and the support from the other members of JBRUFC was immense and added to the emotions on the field.
The sheer grit and determination of this team to fight back and find a way to win an unwinnable game was purely down to the mental strength and ability of the players to play their own game as a cohesive team. This is something that coaches cannot coach.
A massive congratulations to the U9 Cup Champions winning team for 2021 (10 of whom played in last year’s 2020 wining side); Cathal Cafferkey (Try), Jaxon Dolan-Shaw, Corey Greeff (Try), Divan Viljoen (Try + Golden Try), Cooper Jacob, Ryan Johns, Oscar Kowalski-Cruden, Liam O’Shea, Shane Phelan, Angus Shelley, and Daniel Winfield. Coaches; Ciaran O’Shea, Gareth Jacob, & Trevor Shelley, with Team/Tour Manager, Samantha Phelan.