GRAND CHAMPIONS: The under 16 Bulldogs fight it out for the premiership in Nanango.
GRAND CHAMPIONS: The under 16 Bulldogs fight it out for the premiership in Nanango. Ruth Lindsay

Underdogs' finals win

Rugby League: The under 16 Bulldogs have pulled off the upset of the season, snatching the grand final win from favourites Nanango.

Coach Mark Lingard said the first half was pretty even with teams going try for try for the first half hour.

"As we expected Nanango were big and strong and they came out hard,” Lingard said.

The junior Bulldogs went into half time trailing 18-10, with Nanango widening the gap to 28-10 in the opening minutes.

But Lingard said the Bulldogs hung in the game and took over in the last 15 minutes to win 38-28.

"It was one of the more amazing victories I've ever been involved in, especially in the grand final,” he said.

"The commitment and courage and skill that the boys showed to win was astounding and I think we're all pretty proud of them.”

The win was all the more significant since the Bulldogs hadn't defeated the benchmark Nanango team all year.

"There was a lot of stages during that game when we were very, very tired and we were out on our feet but they just kept going, I don't even know if I can explain how good it was,” Lingard said.

"The courage they displayed during that game was proof of what I thought they had in them all year.”

To top it off the Bulldogs captain Ray Mutch was voted man of the match.

"He played very well, thoroughly deserved it,” Lingard said.

The U14 side took out their grand final, leaving the U16 side in a good position next season with players moving into the team.


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