Wizards cast spell over rivals to be Bay's best
LEAGUE: Woongarra State School today proved that persistence eventually pays off if you keep trying.
The school won the NRL Development Cup for Wide Bay at Salter Oval beating Gympie school One Mile State School 20-18.
The Wizards started well, scoring 10 points in the opening four minutes before leading 16-6 at half time.
One Mile then fought back with two converted tries to take the lead with a few minutes to go before Woongarra scored again through Hudson Strickfuss.
The try was enough for the Bundy side to claim the title for the first time after it held on defensively after a late One Mile attack.
"It was basically a game of two halves, we had all the possession and all the momentum in the first half,” Woongarra coach Jason Spears said.
"To One Mile's credit they had all the momentum in the second.
"We had to tough it out and dig deep.
"We came up with a try at the right time.”
Spears said the school had come close before in the Wide Bay competition, losing in 2005 and 2010.
But he was proud of the students for getting the win this time around.
"We had 17 players who contributed in any way shape or form,” he said.
"I said to the boys at the start of the game it doesn't matter if we win, lose or draw I'm going to be super proud of the effort to get to this level.
"The win is just the icing on the cake though.”
The side will now face a Sunshine Coast school in the quarters and are three wins away from becoming state champions.
Woongarra captain Otis Kaye said the side would have to control its lapses heading into that contest but was pleased the team turned the game around yesterday to become the best school in Wide Bay.
"We kept our head up mainly, we put that negative energy behind us,” he said.
"They (teammates) had a great game, we couldn't do it without them.”
Woongarra prop Beau Molo was named player of the match.
One Mile coach Marty Bunn said the school was disappointed to lose but he couldn't fault the effort of the students.
"I think someone said that it's been 12 years since someone from Gympie made it that far,” he said.
"I'm proud, they are obviously disappointed but they didn't give up, which is the One Mile motto.
"It was great for them, half our team don't play footy weekly.”
The dates for Woongarra's match in the quarters has yet to be announced.