JOINT-PREMIERS. Ask just about any footy player, or indeed sportsperson in general, and they’ll tell you the very concept is one that should be banished from the rule books.
For the second time in two years however, the Queanbeyan Whites were left with decidedly mixed emotions on grand final day after third grade’s 8-all draw with Tuggeranong in Saturday’s decider.
With no option for extra-time, Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong were left to share the title.
But from the reaction of both sides at the full-time whistle, it was clear neither camp considered the result much cause for celebration.
“It does feel a bit empty,” Whites captain Sam French said. “I do reckon it’s a bit of a flaw in the system.
“The other grades have a bit of extra-time to sort things out and it’s just a shame third and fourth grade don’t have that.
“Sure, we’re not playing as high a grade but these boys are putting in just as much time and dedication into it and they deserve a result.
“After all that work over the course of the year from both teams, someone deserves to have that trophy.”
The result followed on from last year’s tied second grade premiership between Queanbeyan and Wests.
In the wake of that result, extra-time was allocated for both the second grade and colts grand finals, but not third or fourth grade.
French did acknowledge Queanbeyan was perhaps lucky to secure even a joint premiership after the side turned in one of its worst performances of the year on the season’s biggest stage.
Tuggeranong had done well simply to qualify for Saturday’s decider. After finishing fourth at the end of the regular season, the Viking upset both Easts and Royals en route to the grand final.
But in a dour grand final, neither side had much to offer. With full-time in sight, it looked as though a lone try to centre Brad Stokes was set to hand the Whites the title.
That was before Tuggeranong crashed over out wide right on full-time, setting up a sideline conversion for the Vikings to steal an unlikely win.
Thankfully for Queanbeyan, the shot sailed wide but it was little consolation for a Whites outfit that had clearly never expected to be sharing the grand final spoils.
“Absolutely we gave it to them today,” French said. “If we’d have played well it would have been a starkly different result I believe.
“When you look at it though, I’d rather be joint-premier than to have lost it to a kick after the siren.
“I feel like after the year we had we deserved it but we didn’t play well [on the day] so we’re probably lucky to be sharing it rather than having just given it away.”