THE Medowie Marauders have overcome the Waratahs, 7 to 3, to claim the NHRU Divisional RAMS Home Loans Cup in wet and wild conditions at No.2 Sportsground in Newcastle.
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It’s the first piece of major silverware to land at Boyd Oval since the heyday of Medowie rugby in the 90’s.
Player-coach Tim Lancaster said the premiership win was the culmination of a cohesive dedication to ensuring the club and greater Port Stephens had something to celebrate in 2020.
“Our Grand Final win was really built on a solid platform of community support, grit, determination and some good old fashion Marauder defence that refused to never quit,” said Lancaster.
“The boys have worked hard for their accomplishments in 2020 and I’m proud of each and every one of our players who took the field for us this year.”
On the pitch it was always going to be a tough ask with the heavens opening up for the game they play just beyond the Pearly Gates.
Both teams came out firing from the whistle with a real war of attrition unfolding around the grounds as the Marauder forwards took it to the big Tahs pack.
There were opportunities on offer for both the Tahs and Medowie in the first half, but simple errors saw the scores locked up at nil-all at the break with stern words flowing from the huddles.
The rev up worked as Medowie muscled up and started to make inroads deep into Tah territory in the second half.
The stalemate was only broken when poor Medowie discipline gifted the Tahs a penalty kick straight in front of the uprights to go up 3 to 0.
From here it was a rugby traditionalists dream with some combative forward play through the slow track as the game was grinded out.
When the Tahs finally moved the ball wide it gave Medowie an opportunity to focus their defences and pinch a loose ball.
From here some speedy work by the Marauders outside backs saw Taniela Rabolalele cross the chalk to take the lead 5 to 3.
Captain Eric Tolhurst then steadied the ship to push the lead to 7 to 3 with the conversion successful.
In the dying minutes the Tahs had their opportunities, but Medowie held strong and battled out a well deserved win.
The Waratahs were gracious in defeat and both teams showed exemplary sportsmanship during the post-match ceremony.
It’s believed the celebrations and sore heads will continue for many moons across Port Stephens.
By Mitch LEES