Roma’s Brendan Grulke stars in Queensland Rangers win over NSW
RUGBY LEAGUE: Brendan Grulke might have reached the highest representative honour possible from country Queensland, but his only focus is breaking Roma Cities’ A-grade title drought.
Grulke played a starring role at hooker in the Queensland Rangers’ 11-4 win over the NSW Ron Massey Cup side.
While his finesse in attack took a back-seat to mountains of defensive work in the middle of the field, the Roma man said he was satisfied he’d done his part in the win.
“It was really physical, the ball was in play a lot so it was an arm wrestle in the middle,” he said.
“It was definitely faster and tougher (than RDRL) – a lot more physical.
“I was probably better in defence because our halves were good playmakers.
“I just had to feed them the ball and it was good because NSW had some ex-NRL players so I was pretty gassed from defence.”
Making in excess of 35 tackles during his 60 minutes on the pitch on Saturday, Grulke said he was proud of his teammates for the win – especially since they were relative strangers just a week ago.
“We went into camp on the Gold Coast last Tuesday and got to know each other,” he said.
“We did two training sessions and then a few activities so game day came around and we just had to take what we’d trained out onto the paddock and got into the grind.
“I knew it was going to be tough and you don’t know what to expect from the other side but we had a good game plan and stuck to it.”
In a low-scoring affair, Queensland managed to grind out the win thanks to tries from centre Kennedy Pettybourne and winger Ono So’oialo.
Captain and halfback Chris Ash put the result beyond doubt in the final minute with a field goal.
With his representative season finished, Grulke said he was keen to do his part in what could well be Roma Cities’ best chance to break their 12-year A-grade premiership drought.
“Just looking at Cities and getting back for club footy,” he said.