Farrer delivered their best performance of the season in Saturday’s under-19s grand final to run away with the Reg Kelly Trophy 47-22, and give half-back Lochie O’Keefe the perfect birthday present.
Tries in the couple of minutes either side of half-time set the victory up for Farrer.
After a tight and see-sawing first half with the lead changing hands five times, Billy Porter drove through with only seconds remaining to give Farrer a 23-15 advantage at the break.
They then crossed twice in the first five minutes of the second half to blow out to a 37-15 lead.
Playing with the wind behind them they were always going to be hard to run down from there.
Pirates did rally late, but the damage had been done.
“I think they saved their best till last,” Farrer coach Gus Comi said.
“Two weeks ago in the major semi-final we were underdone and they got within five points of us.”
“Pirates would have been boosted by that.”
It equally spurred them on.
“We worked hard the last two weeks. We did some serious fitness the first week and we tweaked some stuff we thought we needed to in the second week,” Comi said.
That work came to fruition on Saturday.
“Across the park there was a very strong commitment to the breakdown,” Comi said.
They were strong on the ground and their counter rucking was excellent, he said. It was urgent and effective.
Defensively there were also excellent.
“Our chop tackles were excellent and we got up off the line quickly,” he said.
“The defence probably set the platform in the end.”
They were particularly wary of Pirates number Doughal O’Reilly. He scored three tries against them in the major semi. On Saturday they held him to two.
The scrum was another strong area of Farrer’s game.
“The scrum was outstanding, dominant,” Comi said.
“That was a big telling factor in the end. Any ball they were getting was messy and it disrupted their routine.”
He was pretty happy at half-time, Porter’s try giving them a boost going into the break.
Running into the wind in the first half Comi just wanted to stay with Pirates.
“We haven’t started well all year, we’ve been a slow starting side,” he said.
“As long as we were in touch with Pirates at half-time I was happy.”
He knew with Lockie Smith’s boot they could control the territory in the second half.
The five-eighth steered them around the park “beautifully” he said, and was named the player of the grand final.
“Hagan Size playing in the unfamiliar role of hooker played a very tight role,” Comi said.
“Logan Griffiths at tight head played 70 minutes and played well and Alex Roseby at 12 was really solid.”
He thought the strength of their bench was also a factor.
“We were able to replace tired bodies with fresh one’s,” he said,
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.