15 April 2010

League legends motivate Ipswich fightback led by Goodna's Elijah Umu

The Queensland Times

IT TOOK a legendary rugby league name to bring the best out of the  Ipswich Mal Meninga Cup team.

The Ipswich Diggers under-18 rugby league team
answered their challenge to win the Denis Flannery
and Herb Steinohrt Cup, named after local legends.

IT TOOK a legendary rugby league name to bring the best out of the Ipswich Mal Meninga Cup team.

After losing several matches on the trot, a win looked further away than the horizon for the under-18 boys.

But when they played Toowoomba for a trophy named after two rugby league idols, Ipswich's Denis Flannery and Toowoomba's Herb Steinohrt, they turned on a terrific performance to win 32-18.

The side's captain Elijah Umu, younger brother of Broncos contracted Komisi, said the smiles in the dressing sheds after they won the Steinohrt Flannery Cup gave him great satisfaction.

"Everyone was so happy after the game. The boys were really pumped about it," Umu said.

Umu, who plays A Grade for the Goodna Eagles said his team did not have the size to compete with the competition's best teams, but they always put a great effort in.

"We really stuck it in to Toowoomba and we kept our momentum up all game," he said.

"We played hard all game."

Denis Flannery was one of Queensland's rugby league greats of the 1950s.

A champion sprinter and a winger, he possessed of a fantastic sidestep and a swerve that made opponents look like amateurs.

Flannery was a regular in Australian sides for the decade.

A product of Nudgee College and Ipswich Grammar School, Flannery made his debut for Queensland in 1948 and won his first Australian cap in the second Ashes Test of 1950, when Australia stunned Great Britain 15–3.

The U18 boys could not keep their momentum going and they lost to the table topping Easts Tigers 48-16 last weekend.

The match was the last in the Mal Meninga Cup for this year.

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