Pyramids to playmaker: Chelepy’s stunning gridiron debut
GRIDIRON: Robbie Chelepy flew in from Egypt just hours before helping orchestrate the Rockhampton Wolverines’ second win in the North Queensland League on Saturday.
The local rugby union star looked right at quarterback as the Wolverines scored a gutsy 8-6 win over five-time reigning champions, the Townsville Cyclones.
The Wolverines, who are playing in the league for the first time, sit on top of the ladder after winning their first two games.
Buoyed by an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred supporters at CQUniversity, the Wolverines were on the board first with an early touchdown to Josiah Drane.
They led 8-nil but there were some nervous moments in the closing stages when the visitors scored a touchdown in the last minute of the game.
But the home side’s defence stood tall, repelling the Cyclones’ offence to seal the team’s second straight win.
Chelepy said it was exciting to suit up for his first game of gridiron in front of a home crowd.
“It was amazing. We knew a few people were going to come but they really turned up and they helped the boys,” he said.
“Our defence stood up; sometimes we didn’t give them good field position but they caused turnovers and kept them out.”
Chelepy returned to Rockhampton from his overseas holiday only at lunchtime on Saturday and had to step into an unfamiliar role for the game.
“I was training at middle linebacker before I went on holidays,” he said.
“Just before I went they told me I was going to be QB so they sent me a playbook to study while I was on holidays.”
Wolverines safety Jacob Borich was ecstatic after the game.
“We’re 2 and 0 and we’re absolutely stoked about it,” he said.
“What an awesome game.
“I think the key was just really wanting the win. We stayed in it… and just the sheer determination to stay undefeated for the year.
“The home crowd, they were loud, they were cheering us on and really drove us on to get the win.”
Borich said the defence really stepped up in what was a great team performance.
“We bent but didn’t break,” he said.
“We’ve got plenty to improve on but we’re happy to get the win.
“We’re just look at fixing up a few things – minimising penalties, our tackling and we need to attack the ball more.
“We just need to keep working hard, just get to training and prepare for the next game.”