After seven years operating as a junior club in the Rugby Victoria ranks, Brimbank Bucks decided to take the plunge and enter its first senior team into the premiership division, the state’s second-tier competition, this season.
The Bucks were not just happy to be there and make up the numbers, they have taken the league by storm in their inaugural season.
Bucks coach Tia Suemai has led the Bucks to the finals at their first attempt.
“It’s been a brilliant season,” he said.
“No one expected that we’d do this good.
“It’s been a bit of a Cinderella story, but when I saw the calibre of players coming to the club, I thought we’d make some noise.
“Playing finals makes it a special season.”
Just like the regular season, Brimbank is not content to merely be making up the numbers in the finals.
The Brimbank Bucks will kick-start their finals campaign on Saturday with a view of climbing to the top of the mountain.
“It’s up to us now to go all the way,” Suemai said. “We’re pretty confident, but it’s just about keeping the boys grounded.
“Let’s just take each week as it comes like we have throughout the season.”
Brimbank has enough star power to trouble any side in the finals.
Jerry Meafou has featured in a Rugby World Cup with Samoa.
Lucky Mulipola, also a Samoan international, had a decorated career in New Zealand, playing for the Highlanders in Super Rugby and Nelson Bay in provincial rugby.
Sili Leota is a two-time Dewar Shield winner with Melbourne Unicorns.
Outside of those genuine match-winners, Brimbank has a playing squad that has bought into a team ethos, which has been the key to its success.
“The boys have really bought into what’s best for the team and what it means to be part of a team,” Suemai said.
“There’s a real brotherhood and making history has been our main theme.
“There’s a real push to get better, keep each other honest and just support each other.”
Brimbank is on course for sustained success.
Numbers in the junior ranks are growing with boys and girls seeing a clear pathway.
Melbourne Rising, which feeds the Melbourne Rebels, and the Wallaroos, the Australian women’s national team, often use Brimbank’s Arthur Beachley Reserve as a training base.
“The club started over seven years ago with one team and a dream,” Suemai said.
“Next year we’ll have a whole pathway from juniors to colts to seniors.”