TO go an entire season undefeated is a rare feat. But to do it twice in a row? Almost unheard of.
On Saturday, the Queanbeyan Whites will be out to achieve just that when they take on surprise packets the Gungahlin Eagles in this year’s John I Dent Cup third grade grand final at Viking Park.
Queanbeyan is the defending third grade champion, having taken out last year’s title without dropping a game.
And the Whites are on track to replicate that record in 2013 with the side currently on a 32-game unbeaten streak.
Remarkably, Queanbeyan hasn’t lost a game in the third grade since the side’s semi-final loss to the Tuggeranong Vikings in September, 2011.
But if there’s a secret to the Whites success, captain Tim Godfrey wasn’t about to reveal his hand heading into this weekend’s decider.
“I don’t know if there’s much of a secret to it,” Godfrey said. “Once you build a winning culture, players are keener to turn up to training and more confident on game day but that’s not exactly a secret strategy.
“We’ve got a core group who’ve been playing together for a while which obviously helps us to build a side. I think it comes down to the overall strength of the whole club though.
“It doesn’t matter whether we’re getting players down from second grade or up from fourths, we’re always able to field a really good side.”
And Godfrey disregarded the suggestion Queanbeyan’s enviable record placed extra pressure on the side as it attempts to write a new page in ACT Rugby’s record books.
“We don’t really think of it as adding any extra pressure,” he said. “For us its more motivation to keep winning rather than a fear of losing.”
The Whites will be heavily favoured to make it back-to-back titles against a Gungahlin side that surprised many in knocking off Tuggeranong to reach the decider.
Queanbeyan easily accounted for the Eagles in both of their regular season meetings this year although the two sides haven’t clashed since June.
“We did probably expect to be playing Tuggeranong [in the grand final], they’ve been the form side for a lot of the year and our biggest competitors,” Godfrey said. “But Gungahlin seem to have hit form at the right end of the season.
“It’s been a long time since we played them actually so it’s going to bit a bit of an unknown on Saturday.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Queanbeyan as being on a "32-game winning streak". That should have read 32-game unbeaten streak. This was a reporter's error.