A NATIONAL Rugby League grand final rivalry has spurred Tweed River High on to a first Combined High Schools girls' touch football state title.
After finishing runners-up last year, a grand final replay awaited the Open Girls side, who were hell-bent on winning after more than three decades of trying.
Revving the side up before the final in Bateau Bay in August, coach Chris Swaddle used Manly's 40-nil demolition of Melbourne in the 2008 NRL grand final after going down 34-8 the year before for inspiration against Tomaree High School√, who were victors last year.
Swaddle said the pre-game pep talk had the side switched on from the opening whistle.
"We came out firing and ready this year and went up 3-nil in 15 minutes, so we got the jump on them which was the opposite to last year,” he said.
After losing only two players from last year's side, Swaddle said the team had gone to another level and wanted to avenge last year's loss.
"We should have won last year, but they got the jump on us, so coming back and showing that we are better was good,” Swaddle said.
"Whether it was in the grand final or semis, we wanted to match up against them again and show that we could beat them.”
Captain and NSW state representative Olivia Attenborough-Doyle said a majority of the side played club and representative touch together which created a strong core.
"When the going gets tough, we just show some mongrel and come out on top,” the Year 12 student said. "Being in a tight group, we know what each other is going to do and we work to our strengths and weaknesses.”
In a purple patch for the school, the landmark title comes just a year after Tweed River claimed their first boys' title.