Frenchville Falcons soar to victory in Karyn Murphy Cup
RUGBY LEAGUE: Frenchville Falcons girls coach Tracey Denning says her players are still on a high after winning the Karyn Murphy Cup.
The team, made up of students in Years 5 and 6, staged a remarkable come-from-behind win in the grand final of the state-wide schoolgirls competition.
Their victory was even more amazing given that only five of the 14-member squad have played league before.
The Falcons won all bar one of their regional qualifying games (they had one draw) on their way to the Cup finals held at Redcliffe's Dolphin Oval last week.
They defeated Bundaberg's Walkervale State School 16-8 in their first game and Toowoomba's Our Lady of Lourdes 12-8 in their second.
That set up the grand final showdown with Our Lady of Lourdes, which they again won 12-8.
Denning said the grand final was a cracking game and her players worked their hearts out.
Frenchville were down 8-nil early in the contest but got one try back through Tahlia Parish to be within striking distance at half time.
Georgia Wright and Zoe Robson both scored in the second half to secure the win.
Denning praised her young charges for their tenacity and their willingness to stay in the game against a very strong opposition.
"It was really physical football but our girls just kept digging in and working hard,” she said.
"They won the game on defence.
"Lourdes were camped on our tryline for much of the second half but the girls managed to keep them out.
"I don't think they realised they'd won until they looked at the scoreboard and then they were just ecstatic, as was I.”
Denning said the team did amazingly well and it was great to work with such an enthusiastic group.
She also acknowledged the support received from parents, the school community and school staff.
Denning was also grateful to incoming CQ Capras' coach David Faiumu, whose daughter Manaia Faiumu-Malone is in the team, for conducting training sessions with the girls and running the water at every level of competition.
"It's just been a joy to coach this group, they're just so positive,” she said.
"They worked well as a team. They were persistent and never stopped trying.
"They just wanted to play the game and do the best they could.
"They are brilliant ambassadors for our school and they've done everybody really proud.”