Penca not bothered by Queanbeyan's lack of grand final caps

Young Queanbeyan Whites players Keith Morgan and Josh White will be out to fire in their first grand finals. Photo: Joshua Matic.

Young Queanbeyan Whites players Keith Morgan and Josh White will be out to fire in their first grand finals. Photo: Joshua Matic.

QUEANBEYAN Whites skipper Dan Penca believes his young side has "seized the moment and taken their opportunities" ahead of their John I Dent Cup grand final clash with the Tuggeranong Vikings on Saturday.

Penca will run on to Viking Park in the biggest local rugby match of the year as one of just two Whites players with grand final experience, against a Vikings squad with 11 players boasting John I Dent Cup premierships.

ACT Brumby and Queanbeyan favourite son Robbie Coleman will play after being cleared by Brumbies medical staff after sustaining a minor leg injury at the end of his Super Rugby campaign.

But Penca said he would not be feeling any pressure with most of his side's experience falling on him.

"We've got really good leaders in the team at the moment and we share the pressures," said Penca.

"I know it's a much bigger game than previous games, but at the end of the day we're playing football, and I'll do my job on the field as the rest of the other 14 players.

"I'll make the hard decisions I guess when the time comes, but I've got no issues doing that, and hopefully the cards fall our way on grand final day."

Coach Adam Fahey told The Queanbeyan Age last week it would be a monumental task to grasp the John I Dent Cup silverware, and he was not wrong.

Tuggeranong played their best game of the year in the preliminary final last Saturday, destroying the Gungahlin Eagles 59-12 in an effort that must have sent shivers down Queanbeyan's spines.

Tuggeranong should also boast Brumbies players in Jarrad Butler and Rodney Iona, although Iona is in some doubt with a niggling injury.

But Penca said training as normal over the last two weeks had his men well prepared for what will be the biggest game of most player's lives, and said the chance to get a first premiership for those men was incentive enough to overcome the Vikings.

"They don't come around too often, obviously 2010 was our last grand final. Four years is a long time in football, so it's a great opportunity for everyone on Saturday to experience that pressure," said Penca.

"The week leading up to the grand final is exciting, training is exciting, and game day is even more exciting, and that might not happen again. That's the message I'll be giving to the boys in terms of taking it, and not taking it for granted."

Coleman and fellow Brumby and Wallaby Nic White played in the 2010 premiership side, and have since gone on to much bigger things, and Penca said this proved any of his men could achieve the same dreams after grand final day.

"It was a great moment for the club [2010 premiership], and hopefully we can re-live that kind of moment," said Penca.

Kick-off will be at 3.15pm on Saturday at Viking Park.

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