In an electrifying match against the Dysart Bulls, the Clermont Bears Senior Rugby League emerged victorious with a 42-14 win, maintaining their winning streak.
The grand final was held in Dysart on August 26 and was not merely a showdown between two teams, it was an event that brought together communities.
@ The Coalface spoke to Coach Justin Barrett, who has led the team for nine years and boasts six grand final wins.
“We knew we were going up against a formidable team, the Bulls had only lost the one game during the year and that was to us at home in the semi-finals. They put a fair score on us, 44 to 22. So, to turn that around for the grand final was a big thing for us. A proud moment!” said Barrett.
Discussing standout performances, Barrett was quick to commend the collective spirit and effort displayed by the entire team.
“I think the whole 19 of the boys did their job. At the start of the match, their efforts really laid the platform and our five eight David really put an onslaught on our left edge.”
Barrett also spoke about the Bears’ deep connection with the community of Clermont.
“We don’t believe we’re just club members. We are community orientated and want everybody to enjoy our success. Glencore’s Clermont Open Cut Mine gets right behind us, they support us and give any of those who work there a little bit of time off here and there, so we can get to these games and make trainings.
“But I think one of the biggest parts of the success that we’ve had is the community support that we get. Anybody that’s new that comes to town comes out and watches the football, it’s a social gathering. It’s the best place to socialise and meet other people.”
The rivalry between the Clermont Bears and the Dysart Bulls goes beyond the game and envelops both communities. In Clermont, “Green & Gold” coloured everything from storefronts to driveways, with schools and local businesses contributing to the vibrant display. Dysart went all out to paint the town red and white, with team logos adorning driveways and local shops featuring team-themed displays. This annual colouring of the towns not only amplifies the excitement leading up to the grand final but showcases the passion and community pride in each township.
Reflecting on nearly a decade of coaching, Barrett said, “It’s about assembling a team willing to give their all, built on friendship and teamwork.”
He also revealed that he’s stepping down as coach.
“I’ve actually hung the boots up as coach. I need to give a bit of time back to the family,” he revealed.
With Barrett stepping away, attention now turns to the team’s future and the new leadership that will guide the Bears in the coming seasons.