TAKING on an unbeaten side, written off as no chance before kick-off.
Sunday’s Canberra Raiders Cup reserve grade grand final against the Queanbeyan Blues was following a familiar script for Kangaroos captain/coach Peter Hunt. And that was before a ball was even kicked.
Then a teenager coming through the ranks, Hunt was part of the Kangaroos side that won the club’s last reserve grade premiership way back in 2002 against the West Belconnen Warriors.
Then, as on Sunday, the Kangaroos squared off against an opponent that hadn’t lost a game all season.
This time around, it was the Blues taking West Belconnen’s place.
But while the opposition may have been different, it was the same remarkable story as the Kangaroos upstaged their more fancied rivals to record a remarkable 20-10 victory at Seiffert Oval.
“The last time we won it back in 2002 it was the same story,” Hunt recalled following his side’s stunning triumph.
“West Belconnen hadn’t lost a game all year, they beat us by 50 points, 70 points during the season and then we got out and beat them by two when it mattered.
“I actually brought that up before we ran out. It’s just Kangaroos spirit.”
While the Blues opened the scoring in Sunday’s encounter, it was the underdogs who controlled the majority of the contest.
First half tries to Taylor Doon and Reeion Murray saw the Kangaroos hold a 12-6 advantage at the break before back-rower Jake Kiely crossed early in the second half.
While the Blues were kept in touch thanks to a try to centre Adrian Veamatahau with 15 minutes to play, the Kangaroos would not be denied, holding on for a famous victory.
A Kangaroos veteran who played his first game with the club as a four-year-old in 1989, the win marked Hunt’s second premiership in three years.
The wily halfback was drafted into the Kangaroos’ championship winning first-grade outfit in 2011. But he said Sunday’s reserve grade success tasted just as sweet.
“This one nearly beats the first grade one,” Hunt said . “It’s probably more special because a lot of the boys in this side, I’ve coached in the juniors or the seniors.
“And for me and [co-coach Mark Hogan] to do it together, we’ve both been here at the club for a long time. At the start of the year we had one goal in mind which was to win the grand final.
“Everyone laughed at us but we’ve prevailed so I’m over the moon."