Noosa Pirates cap turnaround with grand final triumph

THE Noosa Pirates capped a remarkable turnaround at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, when they claimed Sunshine Coast rugby league's biggest prize.

The Ron Greentree- coached unit defeated minor premier Maroochydore 24-6 to claim the club's first division one title since 2008.

The victory prompted roars of delight from the team's players and supporters.

They have been through tough times in recent years, including a torrid spell last season, when the side folded because it wasn't competitive enough.

"From where we've come from just over 12 months ago to here, it's outstanding, it's unbelievable," captain Liam Anlezark said after his last game.

"There's a core group of us that have been around for the last five or six years...it's a dream come true."

CHAMPIONS: Noosa players and supporters celebrate.
CHAMPIONS: Noosa players and supporters celebrate. Warren Lynam

Some determination at Pirate Park - and a little help from the Sunshine Coast Falcons - put the team back into business this year but then it achieved so much more.

"To be honest, at the start of this year I was lacing the boots on to help the club battle through for another year," Anlezark said. "(I was) just hoping we can build on it for next year."

Noosa only just edged into the four-team play-offs of the six-team Caloundra RSL Cup but stunned Caloundra and Kawana en-route to a showdown with the reigning premier Swans.

The Pirates bustled to a 10-0 half time lead with the wind at their backs before going on with the job.

"This whole week, I knew in my guts we could come here and win this," Anlezark said.

"I don't think too many people gave us a shot...but with the way we've been defending..."

It was the 30-year-old's last outing.

"I'm hanging the boots up...so it's a pretty awesome way to go out," he said.

Greentree was abuzz..

"It's a fairytale," he said. "We never thought we'd be on the field and then we're on the field...and it's all just fallen into place so it's just an amazing feeling."

Swans captain Murray Goldsworthy cut a dejected figure.

"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot the way we played but you can't take credit away from Noosa. They did everything right," he said.

The Pirates have benefited from the services of Sunshine Coast Falcons-contracted players this year and it was one of them, Sam Burns, who stole the show yesterda.

He was player of the match.


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