Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Turtles Tough to Crack; Bundaberg Stalwarts Mastermind Grand Final Victory over Fraser Coast

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Turtles Tough to Crack; Bundaberg Stalwarts Mastermind Grand Final Victory over Fraser Coast

Article excerpt

Byline: Vince Habermann

RUGBY UNION: Bundaberg Turtles captain Luke Cummins, player/coach Rob Darney and second-rower Jason Schuler achieved much success together during East Coast Buccaneers' halcyon days in the Bundaberg and District Rugby Union (BDRU) from 2002-07.

The trio were integral parts of five titles in six years for Buccaneers and they were again the masterminds and driving forces as the reincarnated Turtles completed a Lazarus-like comeback from the dead on Friday night.

Turtles wrapped up an unbeaten All-Safe Spring Cup premiership with a rugged 20-10 grand final victory over Fraser Coast Mariners.

The original Turtles were one of the powerhouses of the former Wide Bay Rugby Union but the club disbanded to make way for the formation of four local teams when the BDRU was formed in 2001.

But the club reformed this year under president Jenita Porter, and with Cummins, Darney and Schuler forming the core group, pulling together a number of other former Buccaneers guns, some Bundaberg rugby league stars, and a couple of new-comers, they always had a very formidable team.

The Mariners however had lost just one match in their two seasons in the Spring Cup, an unlucky three-point defeat at the hands of Turtles in the only previous time they had clashed this year, and the final was always going to be a heavyweight duel between two giants.

After starting nervously and conceding a try after five minutes, Turtles established a 15-5 lead by the 27th minute.

But Mariners clawed their way back with an uncoverted try on the stroke of half-time, and they went agonisingly close to scoring again many times in the second half.

However Turtles dug deep and jealously guarded their lead and finally clinched the game with barnstorming front rower AJ Evans finishing off a superb try three minutes from the end. …

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