The University of Canberra Grizzlies were unstoppable in the NSW Rugby League Tertiary second division, going the entire home and away season undefeated before claiming the premiership.
Being the only Canberra team in a Sydney competition, the side had to deal with road trips up the Hume Highway on a regular basis, but it wasn’t enough to affect their dominant performances on the field.
Twenty-four of the UC Grizzlies 30 man squad also studied at UC during the season, which showed the professionalism of the players to manage both their uni workload and their commitment to travel long distances frequently.
The side had the best defence in the comp, but it was their attack that made them so dangerous to opposition teams.
Their lowest score during the regular season was 28 points, an amazing effort and a testament to the strength of the squad.
The UC Grizzlies only hiccup of the season occurred in the first final against the Western Sydney Polecats, going down 6 to 16.
Despite the surprise defeat, the team put the loss behind them and booked their place in the grand final after a resounding 32-0 win over the Balmain Tigers.
Facing the Polecats in the decider, the UC Grizzlies stormed home to a comfortable 38 to 14 point victory to claim the Bill Buckley Memorial Trophy.
After their success of 2016, some positive changes will occur for the team next year.
The first of these is that the UC Grizzlies will no longer have to prep themselves for their regular travels to Sydney, as they will be leaving the NSW Rugby League Tertiary second division to compete in a league closer to home, the George Tooke Shield.
2017 will also mark the year, for the first time in the club’s history that women will have the opportunity to represent the UC Grizzlies on the field, as the team will be entering a women’s league tag team.
While this year was one to remember for the UC Grizzlies, the future of this team looks to be even brighter.