Geebungs in the big one
Monday, 1st September, 2014
By Ethan James
Broken Hill's Geebungs believe they've been able to turn the Outback Rugby League competition on its head.
The club won a nail biting qualifying final 46-40 over defending premiers Saints on Saturday to advance to the grand final.
While the final score was tight, Geebungs almost squandered a 34-6 halftime lead.
"It was a nerve wracking game, we had a fair bit of momentum in the first half but I knew it wouldn't last the eighty minutes," head coach Malcolm King said.
"The heat did play a little bit with it... it was lucky we got a big score at halftime."
After conceding the opening try, Geebungs posted an unanswered 34 points with their smaller men running rings around the Saints forwards.
But moments in the second half, it looked as if the club's fairytale run was going to turn into a nightmare.
Saints mounted an inspired comeback, posting four tries in a blistering fifteen minute period after halftime.
The defending premiers reduced the deficit to a mere eight points with a quarter of the game remaining.
"They came back out with a big roll on," King said, adding that his message from the sideline was to slow the game down.
"We just needed to get hold of the ball and when we did have the ball we controlled the game really well.
"All the boys would have been over thinking and it was a mentality thing.
"We had to keep the positives and throw the negatives out."
And as they did the week prior against Menindee Yabbies, Geebungs just found a way and did enough to keep their noses in front.
Geebungs five-eighth Dwayne Morgan was again the man who ended up with the scoreboard spoils.
The elusive playmaker picked up a hat trick in the first half and added another to his name in the second for a personal haul of 30 points.
While Morgan got the tries it wasn't without the good work of the Geebungs' pack, who produced some astute offloading.
The results left King daring to dream about next weekend's decider.
"They're still developing, I'm very proud of the young boys," he said.
"We reckon we've turned the whole competition around.
"As a club, we've never had a premiership.
"This already means a lot to our community, just imagine if we can win it this year."
For Saints, fullback Owen McKellar picked up six tries while prop forward Luke Kooyman had a strong game.
"It was the most talked about match and commiserations to the Saints," King said.
King's focus now turns to a week on the training paddock ahead of the decider against Wilcannia Boomerangs.
"We need to take control of training throughout the week, talk about the second half and how to make sure that doesn't happen against."
Geebungs 46 (Dwayne Morgan 4, Kerry King, Ben Bugmy, Clint Squire, Warwick Bugmy tries; Dwayne Morgan 7 goals) defeated Saints 40 (Owen McKellar 6, Shane Hayward, Terence Biswell tries; Troy Dargin 4 goals)