WELL-DESERVED: Dawson Valley Drovers with the Capricornia 2017 Rugby Union Premiership Trophy after defeating Rockhampton Brothers 20-17.
WELL-DESERVED: Dawson Valley Drovers with the Capricornia 2017 Rugby Union Premiership Trophy after defeating Rockhampton Brothers 20-17. Crinkly Cotton Photograph

GF Feature: The driving force behind the Drovers premiership success

RUGBY UNION: The Dawson Valley Drovers are living proof that you only get out what you put in.

Every Thursday afternoon half of the Drovers' squad would board a Thrifty bus and drive out to Moura.

They'd leave Rockhampton at around 5pm and would get home after 11.30pm. Then they'd go to work the next day after the four-hour round trip.

For seven years, this dedicated bunch have clocked the miles just for training.

It would be the last thing these hard working footballers would want to do after their day jobs - but they knew talent could only get them so far.

"It is a big commitment yes, but it is what we do and the boys really take it on board,” skipper Angus Creedon explained.

"We have a great group of players but scattered across a 250sq km radius. So we've done split sessions twice a week. Tuesdays half the group train in Rocky and the others in Moura, then we would get a bus there on Thursdays.

"It shows what great culture we have, that we all play for each other.”

Ben Cummings gets into the clear.
Ben Cummings gets into the clear. Crinkly Cotton Photography

Drovers' second to none attitude culminated in premiership glory at the weekend with a tense 20-17 win over Brothers.

That incredible drive and thirst for success has seen them feature in five grand finals of those seven seasons.

They missed out in 2011, won in 2012, runners up in 2013, semi finalists in both 2014 and 2015, bridesmaids again in 2016.

Desperate to end their drought and with the pain of last year's 10-7 loss to Frenchville Pioneers still lingering - Dawson Valley finally broke their drought.

Creedon struggled to put to words how close his side had came to letting another one slip.

"We had them on the ropes at 20-3 but they fought back well. Brothers threw everything at us,” he said half in awe.

"It was too close for our liking. They really hammered us in mauls and their pick and drives.

"We were lucky to get some field position late in the game and pin them down their end.

"Grand finals are made up of big plays and this was the case. At one point Nick Ein our back rower stripped the ball right in front of our try line. That killed their momentum.

"Ben Cummings scored an awesome try to set up the win as well.”

Mitchell Johnstone fires a pass from the breakdown.
Mitchell Johnstone fires a pass from the breakdown. Crinkly Cotton Photography

Creedon was adamant without weekly effort, the club would have rued another year waiting for the ultimate prize.

"Oh god no,” was his response when asked if they would have still won it.

"We have diesel fitters, graziers, electricians, cotton farmers, office workers, you name it. No one is bludging, put it that way.

"80% of us make the weekly training, even the shift working miners.

"Last year gave us the fire in the belly. So this was a relief. We knew we had the ability, but to get it done is something else.

"Talent will only take you so far and we knew we had to invest time and effort.”

In front of a packed Stockyard celebrating the coal festival, Moura was rocking - even more so when the siren sounded.

They'd been there for Drovers' gut-wrenching loss in Biloela and their sheer elation capped off the evening.

No one can deny they deserved it.



Sand quarry approved as concerns resolved after 3 years

premium_icon Sand quarry approved as concerns resolved after 3 years

Residents are happy with the result but an appeal could be lodged

Coalition is tackling the issue of labour hire: Landry

premium_icon Coalition is tackling the issue of labour hire: Landry

Capricornia MP lays out her plans to increase fairness for workers

Labor's guarantee to fix NBN rollout or penalties will apply

Labor's guarantee to fix NBN rollout or penalties will apply

NBN roll out rage has been widespread but Labor has a plan to fix it

Local Partners