Southern Lions U15’s have made their mark again in 2023, claiming their third Grand Final win over the past three seasons!
The close-knit team won the U13 division in 2021, U14 division in 2022 and took home the U15’s Premiership title this year after a hard-fought match against the Mandurah Pirates, where they took the win in a nail-biting 13-12 finish.
Junior Vice President, Sandra Leef, said that being able to assist the players on and off the field was a coaching group highlight – “they worked on the players not just on the field but also in the off season with a personal trainer from Athlete X, who concentrated on strength and conditioning, flexibility and mobility.”
“This saw the core group of 16 players remain consistent and was instrumental with bonding with the basic core of fundamental rugby skills. This greatly contributed to seeing this group go into 4 Grand Finals back-to-back and winning the last 3 years.”
“Remarkably, the team’s amazing and dedicated coaches have been working with the team for the past six years. The consistency in coaching has provided a steady support system for the players as well as strengthen their bonds both on and off the field.“
“All coaches have played Premier level rugby during their careers and took on the coaching roles due the previous coach having to leave due to work commitments.”
“The coaching style is old school, teaching the kids tough love but also teaching them that it’s not just about rugby but about working together and accepting everyone for who they are. Each player is treated differently depending on skill level and what they personally want to achieve as a player as well as a collective group.”
“The coaching staff keep the players accountable for everything they do whether that is turning up late or forgetting their gear. They know these lessons will help the players not only on the field but also in whatever careers or paths they decide to take. Hoping these life lessons will stay with them for live.” Sandra says.
When asked about the strength and growth of the team and its players, the coaching group summarized the growth coming down to their preseason training and ensuring the “team and coaching team are one unit, each person respecting and knowing that all players bring an element to the game that is needed including the coaches! No one is in charge everyone is equal.”
Sandra added that “Having the experience and help of Premier players coming along to trainings and games gives the players that extra boost as they are always learning and taking instructions from experienced people.”
“As for what 2024 will look like for the team, each season is a matter of building the team and working out what strengths the team has. You really are not sure on what your team will look like until the players turn up. That is why the coaching group go back to the basics and build from there.”
“Three-peats are not easy to come by, making it an extraordinary achievement for the players and coaching staff! All at Southern Lions are very very proud of their achievements. “
The Southern Lions community will be backing the team in again in 2024, as they look to make it 4 in a row, and make history once again.