Pine Rivers RLFC, nestled in amongst the beautiful Pine River, is home to one of Brisbane’s most successful rugby league clubs.
The Bears boast a healthy junior nursery of players and is also the home ground of the Northside 1 Opens team. The tireless workers and volunteers who keep this club alive are second to none, rivals of some clubs yes, but a great traditional family club that fosters pride, passion and sportsmanship.
I spoke with inspirational co captain second rower Daniel Culgan on his background as a player, his pre-match pep talk to his players before the XXXX Rivalry Round and his disappointment on missing out on selection in the XXXX 2nd division representative side.
Q: Daniel, can you tell me about your background in rugby league as a player?
A: I started my career at Albany Creek Crushers then onto the Aspley Devils. I then played Colts and Fogs at Wests Panthers then made the move to Pine Rivers in 2013.
Q. How was the feeling between the boys in the lead up to the Gaters game, were you confident?
A: I wouldn’t say we were confident. We knew it was going to be a hard game as they were the team to beat last year, but our preparation was good and we were switched on all week and luckily we got home with the win.
Q. Being captain yesterday, what did you say to the boys before the game?
A: I basically touched on what we always touch on every week and that’s sticking to the grind and pride ourselves on our defence especially in the first 10-15 mins. I think our defence was spot on all day and I reinforced to the players to help each other out on the field.
Q: Is there much Rivalry between Pine Rivers and Gaters?
A: I wouldn’t say a rivalry, I think there is a mutual respect for each other on the field, we both play hard and fortunately for us we got the win.
Q: How crucial was the win against Gaters yesterday especially so early on in the season?
A: Really crucial. Considering we have been up and down all year, I think it was a massive boost to our confidence and getting a win against a hard side like Gaters was a big effort from our boys.
Q: Apart from yourselves, who is the team to beat this year and why?
A: Aspley. They have a great bunch of players in that side and some of them have come from Intrust Super Cup side Norths to bolster their ranks. I wouldn’t write off Gaters and would have said Deception Bay before they dropped out of the comp.
Q: How is Adam as a coach? What has he brought to the club this year?
A: Excellent. He has brought a great culture to the club. Being a player himself last year, he brings across a lot of respect. Everyone wants to play for him and he is not only a good coach, he is also a mate to all the boys. Nobody wants to let him down and the boys have a dig in each week.
Q: Were you disappointed on missing out on selection on the 2nd Division representative side?
A: I was a little disappointed on missing out but it didn’t deter me from my club footy with Pine Rivers as that always comes first for me. I spoke with Adam and told him that missing out wouldn’t distract me for giving 100% to the Bears.
Q: Do you have aspirations in playing in the Intrust Super Cup or better still the NRL?
A: Definitely. If the opportunity came up I would look at it for sure. At the moment though I am concentrating on playing for Pine Rivers and trying to win back to back premierships for the club.
Q: What does playing for Bears mean to you?
A: The culture around the club is awesome. Our success basically comes from the top in the Opens and filters down into the juniors. If we are playing well then the supporters will come and watch us. I play with pride when I pull on the Bears jersey and look forward to supporters coming to see us play; it gives you a bit of inspiration to keep playing well.
It is the steel and phenomenal fitness he combines with his skill, as a formidably tough defender, that marks him out as one of the best players of the Brisbane XXXX 2nd Division and will surely see him remembered among the finest in the proud history of the Pine Rivers club.