FENSOM CHASES GLORY
Father backs his son in the NRL GF
RUSS Fensom has put his faith in his son Shaun’s team, the North Queensland Cowboys, to win this year’s NRL grand final.
Russ has backed Fensom’s moves throughout his football career, which began with the Bellingen Magpies.
After a short stint playing with the Nambucca Roosters, Fensom was signed up by the Canberra Raiders at 18.
Now 28, Russ said Fensom had played more than 150 games and backed him all the way.
This Sunday’s game won’t be any different.
“Obviously you’ve got to back the Cowboys,” Russ said.
Russ has keenly watched his son develop in the game. He said Fensom had put a lot of himself into football.
The two-time Mal Meninga Medal winner was released by the Raiders last year after salary cap pressures.
But Russ said there was no bad blood between his son and the first NRL club he played for.
He said Fensom had comfortably filled his boots in the talented Cowboys forward line-up.
When Fensom takes to the field against the Storm in tomorrow’s grand final, Russ will be screaming from the ANZ Stadium stands along with about 20 of his son’s close mates from Urunga and Mylestom.
“I used to back Canberra but now I go for the Cowboys. You’ve got to back the team your son plays for otherwise you won’t get free tickets,” Russ quipped.
“We’ve got pretty reasonable seats in the middle.”
Russ fancies the chances the Cowboys will be able to get up despite being against the odds.
“Melbourne is like a class act, they’ve got three of the best footballers in the country,” he said.
The Storm line-up includes this year’s Dally M winner Cameron Smith, NRL full-back of the year Billy Slater and the competition’s leading try-scorer Suliasi Vunivalu.
But Russ said “astute” Cowboys coach Paul Green knew what he was doing.
He said over the season, Green has shown he knew exactly what team to field and perfectly managed when to take players off.
Despite the absence of Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston for much of the season, Russ said the Cowboys always managed to “find a way of doing things”.
“They’ve formed a different formation (without Thurston and Scott),” he said.
While Thurston has been left off the team sheet this grand final, Russ said it was evident his influence was not missed by his team mates.
He said the Cowboys have had the pressure backed up on them throughout the season but somehow managed to get through it and that’s why he was backing them to win.
Russ told the Daily Telegraph this toughness and resilience was noticeable.
“You can see it watching the games on telly, even if you’re not there. You can see they play for each other,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
Melbourne is like a class act, they’ve got three of the best footballers in the country. — Russ Fensom
GAME FACE: Shaun Fensom says the Cowboys are a tough team and his father, Russ, believes North Queensland can take the final. PHOTO: MICHAEL CHAMBERS