Turtles rule in the Spring Cup again
UNION: Sometimes in finals the difference between winning and losing comes down to experience.
For the Turtles on Friday night they made sure theirs counted to win their seventh straight title.
Beating the Pythons 30-22, the defending premiers scored two late tries to continue a streak not seen in Bundaberg sport for a long time.
But they didn't have it their own way.
In one of the best grand finals of the competition in years, the Pythons matched them for 75 minutes.
In a contest of twists and turns, the Pythons led early before leading again 22-20 with minutes to go.
The Turtles then showed why they are the best in the competition.
Showing great poise and leadership, captain Brendon McKeown snatched a ball from a lineout to score before Chris Rose intercepted a Pythons pass to seal another win for the club.
"I'm just pumped right now," McKeown said.
"It's unbelievable (to win seven in a row) and I don't think it will happen again."
McKeown also paid the ultimate compliment to the Pythons.
"Tonight's game was the toughest and the best final that I have played in during the seven in a row," he said.
"There were a couple of instances that I was really worried that they might topple us.
"To our boys' credit, we dug deep and got over the line."
For the Pythons, they were disappointed to lose but proud of what they achieved.
Pythons captain James Tutuila said they struggled to cope in the final few moments.
"You have got to have experience to win a grand final," he said.
"In the last five minutes we let ourselves down with just silly errors.
"Once you give a silly error and heads go down it's just a mental game."
Despite that, Tutuila said the side can look on this year as a positive.
"Considering we still got to the grand final it's a credit to the Pythons boys," he said.
"(Full) credit to the Turtles, they don't win seven in a row for nothing. Credit to Luke (McCloskey) for coaching a great team."