University of Canberra Firebirds make history

The University of Canberra Firebirds won the ACT Gridiron Capital Bowl in remarkable fashion.?? Brendan Morrissey (76),?? Max Murdoch (6), and Ian Lanham (23) make a tackle.
The University of Canberra Firebirds won the ACT Gridiron Capital Bowl in remarkable fashion.?? Brendan Morrissey (76),?? Max Murdoch (6), and Ian Lanham (23) make a tackle.

Records are made to be broken, but the University of Canberra Firebirds have set one that may well stand the test of time.

The Firebirds thrashed the Tuggeranong Tornadoes 56-0 in the ACT Gridiron Capital Bowl at Greenway Oval on Saturday to win a league record ninth title.

It's the biggest Capital Bowl win in the league's 25 year history and the Firebirds' second title on the trot - and it could be the perfect send-off for captain Sam Babic.

But he's still not sure if he'll hang up the boots, fuelling a running joke that he's hanging around long enough to play with his son Harry - who is still only four years old.

Firebirds running back James Thornhill was named the most valuable player having scored four touchdowns, while veteran quarterback Luke Job threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.

Coach Nathan Long has been at the club for eight of its nine titles and for hours afterwards he was still trying to process the first half masterclass that saw the Firebirds open up a 49-0 lead.

"We've had a lot of guys here who have been through some dark days, like in 2013 when we got pumped," Long said.

"In 2014, we made a grand final but we got thrashed in that. We just kept improving and to get to this is pretty satisfying for lack of a better word.

"It's definitely the best performed team we've ever had in terms of the way we managed to put together definitely the best on-field performance. Is it the best team we've had? I don't know.

"In terms of our team this season, we conceded 20 points in nine games. We put up over 370 points. Statistically it's the best team this club has had in 25 years.

"I can't remember ever being part of a team where we had a first half go perfectly like that."

Tuggeranong started the game by recovering an onside kick but three plays later a pass was picked off by Thornhill for an 80 yard touchdown, and there was no looking back from there.

It adds to their case to be known as one of the greatest teams in league history, just weeks after the coach of the club's 1994 undefeated season John Etminan saw them in action and said "you guys would kill us".

This story University of Canberra Firebirds make history first appeared on Brisbane Times.