Page 3518 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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This game went down to the wire and, at full time, there was no victor, with both teams having scored five points.

Like all spectators there on Saturday, I was exhausted just watching the game, with its twists and turns. But we had to press on, enduring another 10 minutes of nail-biting action as the game went into extra time. Tuggeranong went in hard and immediately took control. So overwhelming was their attack on Cooma, the Cooma coach had to take a quick restroom break. His absence spurred the Junior Roaches on, who quickly came back strongly. Forget about the players; every parent in the crowd had worked up a sweat with anticipation.

But all good things must come to an end and, at the sounding of the final hooter, I am proud to say that the local lads from south Tuggeranong came out on top. Not only were we in the audience given the opportunity to see the great talent of these teams, we also got to see their great sportsmanship, with both teams cheering each other at the conclusion of the game.

It gave me great pleasure to present the south Tuggeranong players and the kids from Cooma with their awards at the stadium. I could see the excitement in their eyes as Terry Campese and Alan Rothery from the Canberra Raiders shook their hands and posed with us all for a photo. But these boys are now media and sports stars in their own right, making page 2 of the sports supplement of yesterday’s Canberra Times.

I would like to thank the minister for sport, Mr Quinlan, for allowing me to represent him. Congratulations to Danny Harley, the CEO of Canberra Stadium, for organising the event, and to Karen Ebbsworth from the Canberra District Junior Rugby League. Special congratulations to the players, their coaches, parents and supporters for a wonderful day,

Western Districts Rugby Club

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (6.21): I suppose I could talk about being a child of the sixties even though I was born in 1952, but I will not.

MR SPEAKER: Why not? I would like to hear you explain it.

MR STEFANIAK: Like Mr Gentleman, I attended some grand finals on the weekend. I would like to pass on my congratulations—

Mr Quinlan: Can you build an atmosphere like Mick did?

MR STEFANIAK: That is a hard act to follow. I say this with some trepidation because most of my football, as members probably realise, was played with Royals and, to a lesser extent, University, and it is always, in a way, a bit hard to congratulate old rivals, even though my step-son and my 12-year-old play with them now. Indeed, my late brother-in-law was a prominent second grader there in the eighties. I am referring to the Western Districts Rugby Club, the premier rugby club in my electorate, and the superb performance by the club over the weekend. They won first to fourth grade and colts, a feat that I do not think has been done before. Wests last won all four grades then available in 1974. I think Royals managed to do it for a couple of years running. Now that the colts are in the competition too, this was a truly mighty effort.

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