An estimated 1000 people turned out to watch the Murchison rugby team create history for the town on Saturday.
Murchison saved its best game for last, securing its first ever Car Company division two title with a 39-15 win over Taylor’s Contracting Wanderers.
The fixture was a replay of last year’s final and with a win a-piece this season, there was nothing separating the two sides heading into Saturday’s grand final.
Murchison co-coach Mike Huxford, who is stepping down alongside the side’s other co-coach Darcy Grooby, says it is the biggest result in the club’s history.
“It’s brilliant, we are over the moon. I think this is massive for the club and everyone is on a high, knowing we have done it,” says Mike. Murchison won the third division back in the 90s and qualified for its first division two final last year.
Now that the trophy cabinet is full, a handful of the club’s custodians have retired on a high. “A few might be going away, but there are a lot of younger guys there and the depth is really strong.”
Missed conversions at the death had been Murchison’s downfall when the sides met just two weeks ago. However, they were up for the challenge and a dominant performance from the forwards gave the backs plenty of chances to work their magic in the 39-15 victory.
Fullback David Gill, who ended up scoring twice in the fixture, crossed over for his first five pointer after just five minutes as the maroon and golds came out all guns blazing, looking to kill the game off early.
Wanderers had no answer for the Murchison onslaught as the side watched Simon Boyer, David Addison, Ben Fishburn and Jack Topping run in early tries. Murchison raced away to a 32-6 half time lead in front of its vocal supporters.
Mike says his side went into the halftime break feeling pretty confident. “Credit to the guys, they started a lot stronger than I thought we would,” he says. “This is the first time this year that the forwards and backs clicked as a unit. We made a few changes in the second half but Wanderers only wanted to play it in the forwards.”
Simon added two second half penalties to seal the win after Ethan Rueben and Tom Stilwell scored for Wanderers. Wanderers fullback Dan Cooper added one conversion and one penalty.
Wanderers team manager Kyle Paki Paki says the better team won on the day. “We’re absolutely gutted but they just outplayed us right from the start.”
Murchison have often played their best footy in the first half so Kyle was not surprised with the opponent’s hunger in the opening spells. “It was everything we had trained for and had anticipated. We just didn’t fire on the day.”
The Wanderers season was still deemed a success, making back to back finals appearances. The club was now looking to build for next season and push some of its division two players onto the top grade.