Saturday, 27th August, 2011
For the first time since 2007 the Menindee Yabbies have a chance at premiership glory after winning themselves a place in this year’s grand final.
They will face the perennial bridesmaids the Broken Hill Geebungs for the 2011 Outback Rugby League Premiership at Jubilee Oval tomorrow afternoon.
After showing great fighting spirit in last week’s come-from-behind victory over the Wilcannia Boomerangs the Geebungs will be looking for a change of grand final fortune.
They have featured in the last two grand finals but are yet to win an Outback Rugby League Premiership. The boys in the Blue and White will be hoping it’s third time lucky.
The Yabbies have had a complete turnaround from last year’s efforts, when they did not win a single game, to only losing one on their way to the ORL minor premiership and the grand final.
It has been a rags to riches story for the Yabbies who have worked hard this year at training and they are reaping the rewards on the field and must be considered favourites to take out this year’s title.
So far this year the matches between these two sides have produced some interesting outcomes. In round one the Yabbies hosted the Geebungs and held on for a tight 32-30 victory. Their next encounter was round five, with Menindee again holding on for a tight victory 28-24.
Their last encounter to date was in round seven. Geebungs were decimated by injuries and never looked like putting up a fight going down 70-8.
The result of this game will come down to a few key players from each side. For Menindee their captain and lock Ricky Waters will be leading the charge in the forwards.
He has been in fine form this year from the back of the scrum and when Ricky is running his hardest it takes more than one man to bring him down.
The youngest player for the Yabbies is their hooker Colin Clarke. Though young he has vision beyond his years and the Geebungs will have to be on their toes to stop him. Once Colin sees an opportunity around the ruck he will be gone within a flash and can set up tries from anywhere on the field.
Codie Gilby is Menindee’s main strike weapon and go-to-guy when the game is close. When the centre gets an opportunity it always looks like something is about to happen. Codie has a strong running style and great agility for a bigger centre. It’s not only his attack that will games, Codie is one of the best defensive centres in the comp.
The Geebungs also possess some great attacking flair; many of their tries this year have started in their own half. Rodney Crawford is one of these players, often throwing the last pass to put a player through a gap. His vision and ball handling skills have been a match winner this year for the Geebungs and they will be looking to the lock again for some creativity in this year’s big one.
Roger Bugmy has played in nearly every position this year but has always looked dangerous with the ball in two hands. Roger is always looking to find defensive players napping around the ruck, continuously putting players into holes. Menidee will have to keep an eye on Roger or he could give them headaches all day.
The strong Geebungs forward pack is led by Clint Squire. A hard running second rower who gives his all for the club each and every week. Clint will be looking to inspire the younger forwards to follow his lead this Sunday. If Geebungs are to win the title it will most likely be on the back of Clint Squire.
Both sides will be looking to these players to give them the upper hand in the decider. For both teams it is important that they are quick of the mark and post points early in the game. Grand finals have a way of leaving sides behind if they start slowly and neither side wants to be fighting from behind.
Once the final whistle has blown on the 2011 Outback Rugby League season we will know which fairytale will come true. Will the Broken Hill Geebungs overcome their grand final demons and be third time lucky, or will the Menindee Yabbies rags to riches story be happily ever after.