Maroon's long wait almost over
IT WAS 17 years in the waiting, but Gavin Duffy has the chance to pull on a Maroon jumper again.
Former Brothers teammate Stephen Lill delivered the news on Monday of Duffy's selection in the Queensland Rangers team after leading the Central United team to its first QRL Divisional title last weekend.
When Duffy takes to the field against NSW Country on July 9 at Coonabarabran, it will be his first Queensland team since an under- 13 Queensland merit side in 1994.
Duffy is joined in the side by five Capras players including current Central Comets centre Matt Templeman, who was named captain and former Comets fullback Tommy Hewitt.
Duffy, the Central United vice-captain, helped steer the side to an upset win over North Queensland – his first win over NQ for Central Queensland – in their opening match of the state championships, before a confident CQ outfit outclassed South East Kookaburras 44-18 in their final match.
Leading Rockhampton Brothers to both the local and extended league premierships in 2010 proved the catalyst for a return to representative football in 2011.
“I really wanted the challenge of playing rep footy this year,” Duffy said.
“I've got a new energy. I really wanted it more than I have in the past, I think that's the difference in being successf"ul – you have to want it.”
A hesitant Central United side entered its first match unsure about their chances after previously struggling against the other regions, but following their win over NQ, that all changed.
“We played really well on Sunday against South East,” he said.
“That second half (in which Central United fought back from 12-0 down to win 18-16 over NQ) made us realise that we're not just here to make up the numbers.”
Aware of the calibre of players on display, Duffy was optimistic about his chances of selection in the Rangers team after the Capras finished the carnival on top.
Despite his work in guiding the team around the park, Duffy believes his defence was the key.
“I thought I defended really well during the carnival,” he said..
“I really wanted to focus on my defence because when I'm (defending) well everything else just falls into place.”