THE JINDABYNE BUSHPIGS have capped off a remarkable season after taking out the Monaro 2 Division Premiership with a dominating 44 -17 display against the Crookwell Dogs on Saturday. In the 29 years of Jindabyne rugby history, it was the first time that Jindabyne were to host a final of its kind. And didn't the Jindabyne community and the Bushpigs make the most of it.
The Jindabyne community was out in force, with over 2,000 spectators packing out John Connors Oval cheering on the Bushpigs.
The ground was covered in a sea of green with the Australian Flag flying high. Spectators decorated the ground with posters and streamers and even one lot of spectators went to the effort to make a huge banner dedicated to Bushpigs hooker Daniel Josifovski. The atmosphere was electric and was said to be the biggest ever crowd turning up for any code of football at the oval.
The day kicked off in fine style for the Jindabyne Rugby Union Club as the junior under 15 Piglets ran out 29 - 14 winners in their grand final in Canberra earlier on. After a freak snow storm only 24 hours prior to kick off, the sun was out and the match began with screaming fans urging the Bushpigs on.
It was evident from the kick off that Matt Tripet and his troops wanted this game more than the Dogs.
The Bushpigs displayed their finest rugby to date as they blew the Dogs off the park in all facets of the game.
The Bushpigs gave their crowd plenty to cheer about as they found themselves up 22 -0 with tries to Matthew Caldwell, Craig Dixon, Liam Pepper and Steven Rompannen in the first 20 minutes.
The Bushpigs were led by man of the match Josh Shortland whose attack and defence was second to none. Shortland's ability to show and go was too hard to handle for the Dogs, as he stormed the field on a number of runs which led to many of the Bushpigs tries.
Retiring veteran Michael Bottom filling in his unfamiliar role at five-eight was also outstanding, as he showed plenty of maturity and looked like he could still be playing for years to come.
Bottom's direction around the park very much helped fill the void left by influential fly-half Jake Roarty.
The Dogs staged a minor fight back in the second stanza but the dominant Bushpigs display saw further tries to Dixon, Ian Vagg and a late try to Daniel Josifovski which sealed the game and sent the Jindabyne crowd into raptures.
As the referee blew the full time whistle, it was history in the making. Players jumped for joy, showing plenty of emotion with one another as did members and kids did in the crowd. It was fitting for the Jindabyne Rugby Union Club life members whom were all there to witness it. A teary Locky Thompson, a Bushpigs life member said, "It's a moment that every player and every person who witnessed this today, will go down the track 20-30 years time and tell their children or grandchildren, I was a part of that. The support was amazing; I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime of rugby within the Jindabyne area. Credit goes to Matt Tripet and his troops and the Jindabyne Rugby Union Club committee who made this happen."
A big congratulation to Matt Tripet, David Erikson, Nelson McPhee, Geoffrey Stubbs and the Jindabyne Rugby Union Club committee who worked hard behind the scenes to get the team up and running week in week out. Also a big pat on the back to the Jindabyne community who got behind the team in lead up to the game and all those who made their way to the game. It was very overwhelming - as it was said by one of the players, the crowd acted as an extra player out there which helped spur the boys on.
It was a fitting farewell for some, as the Bushpigs sent their retiring team mates Andrew Burke, Matt Fish (to be confirmed) and Michael Bottom out in style as they go out with premiership medals. Both Fish and Bottom, Bushpigs stalwarts, have a combined total of over 300 game experiences for the club and no doubt they will be sorely missed.
Burke's contribution to the club has been outstanding with a number of seasons as Bushpigs Player, the 2011 Club President and also has a high involvement with the juniors of which his daughters are a part. The Jindabyne Rugby Union Club wishes you all the best for the future and no doubt you will all still be involved with the club in the near future.
Presentation night coming up
After a successful season, the Jindabyne Rugby Union club encourages everyone to get along to their annual junior and senior presentation night.
The JRUC will be hosting the night on the Wednesday September 19 at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel. All Players and parents are encouraged to get along to congratulate all the juniors for their hard efforts they have put in this year. Tickets available from the LJ.
Furthermore the senior's presentation night is set for the Friday 21st of September at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel. It is set to be a massive night for club as it will be fitting celebration to what has been a tremendous year for the club. Tickets can be bought from the LJ or contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org