Woolgoolga Seahorses break premiership drought

Woolgoolga Seahorses players celebrate their premiership win.

THE LONG wait is finally over.

And after 54 years, the Group 2 premiership is headed to Woolgoolga for the first time.

The Woolgoolga Seahorses have broken their premiership drought with an emotion-charged 26-10 win against the South Grafton Rebels.

The Seahorses won this season’s Tooheys New Group 2 Rugby League grand final, triumphing in front of a sea of Seahorses fans on hand to witness club history in the making.

The Seahorses won their maiden Group 2 first grade premiership in their fourth grand final, having finished runners up in 1983, 1992, and 2008.

Seahorses captain Michael Curnow was full of jubilation as he explained what the premiership win meant to the Woolgoolga community.

“You hear so many stories of the team back in the day, they were so close to winning, it’s hard to put into words.

“It just means so much to the community and the club itself, we’re on the way up,” he said.

“There are so many guys that came down here today to say thank you for winning the footy game and it means a lot to those fellas, and everyone’s just so happy to finally get one.”

Curnow said his side had been building towards winning their maiden premiership
“We’ve just been building to tell you the truth, and it was only a matter of time,” he said.

“Last year we got to the prelim final and just missed out, I think it was just a matter of time, and it was just our year.”

The premiership winning captain gave an insight into how his side were able to achieve the drought breaking win.

“We were scrappy in the first half, we dropped a lot of ball, but I think we just came out in the second half and just controlled the footy a lot better, and our defence won us the game basically in that first half, they were just too tired from then on,” he said.

“I just thought if we held the ball more in the first half the points would come quicker, but they ended up coming in the end.

“That was our eighth win in a row, lucky number eight, and we were stoked to come away with the win, doesn’t matter if you win by two points or one hundred.”

Shayde Perham opened the scoring for the Seahorses after a great run out wide, as they took a 6-0 lead after 11 minutes in the season decider at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium.

The Rebels had the better early chances and continued to threaten, but the Seahorses defence held them out as they weathered the early storm.

The Rebels finally broke through with Aidan Hyland scoring from a kick, locking the score after 28 minutes.

A physical and intense start to a game befitting of a premiership decider saw it locked up at 6-6 at the half, as brutal defence was proving to be the name of the game.

The Rebels capitalised on a mistake to extend the lead to 10-6 after 48 minutes.

The Seahorses took back the lead after a bullocking run from Sione Fangupo in the 61st minute, setting up a grandstand finish.

Woolgoolga were in again just minutes later as Shayde Perham crossed for his double.

The Seahorses wore down the Rebels as the second half progressed, as their dominant defence, strong work in the forwards, and enterprising attack proved too much for the Rebels to handle.

Woolgoolga had one hand on the premiership trophy when a long range run from Bailey Connor made it 22-10 with less than 10 minutes to go, before a Dane O’Hehir try sealed the historic win.


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