In 2011 he was a 15-year-old in the stands cheering for the Queensland Reds, and now Angus Scott-Young has the chance to win his own title.
Angus Scott-Young still has his ticket from the 2011 Super Rugby grand final when the Queensland Reds conquered the Crusaders, a moment that secured the flanker’s career path.
Now, 10 years later, he has the chance to secure his own title as a player, fuelled by a five-point loss to the Brumbies in last year’s decider as redemption became the theme of the Reds’ 2021 campaign.
“It was a tough night last year. Going down to Canberra and losing the way we did,“ Scott-Young said on Monday, brandishing his ticket stub from 2011.
“There was a lot of soul searching after that one, tough reflection, but we’re a better team for it.
“A big theme for us this year has been we‘ve got to earn that spot again. We’ve done that throughout the season.
“We’ve earned that spot and we’re in the grand final at home, how good. Now we’ve got to earn it all again.”
Reds captain Liam Wright said his team “didn’t show up” in the final last year despite suffering only a narrow defeat.
Wright said that was all part of the journey, which this year had included just one loss to the Force, leading, hopefully, to the right performance this Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.
“I’m just proud of all of us, the work that has gone in. So much has gone into this, it’s been a few years in the making,” he said.
“In 2018, that was my first year with Thorny (coach Brad Thorn) and it was pretty dry, only six wins.
“There’s been a lot of growing in this team. It’s a really proud moment for everyone to come this far.
“These first 10 rounds have been nice, but come Saturday it’s all brand new.”
Scott-Young agreed that the experiences gained throughout the “journey” for the Reds could be the best thing going for them against the Brumbies.
“The journey is really important, those first few years with Thorny were tough, we didn’t always get the results we wanted,” he said.
“But we were always fighters, we never lay down and die, and that spirit is still in this team.”
The Reds will be without “go-forward weapon” Hunter Paisami after the star centre suffered a broken cheekbone in that loss to the Western Force in Perth.
Wright said while it was a blow he was confident whoever replaced him – with Josh Flook, Hamish Stewart and Jordan Petaia among the contenders – would be up to the task.
“He’s a real go-forward weapon for us. It’s a shame for him. He’ll do a lot of work with analysis and prep, coaching other guys into that role,” he said.
“He’s a big loss and we can’t underestimate that, but we’ve got plenty of guys to fill in and step into those shoes.”