Li­ons draw pride from thriller win

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLAT­TER trent. slat­ter@ news. com. au

WESTERN Li­ons coach Josh Stow­ers knows the hard work is just be­gin­ning for his side af­ter they held off Her­bert River 32- 28 on Sat­ur­day to se­cure the TDRL mi­nor premier­ship.

The Crush­ers had the home ground ad­van­tage for the block­buster fi­nal round clash, but the Li­ons know all about de­fy­ing ex­pec­ta­tions in just their se­cond sea­son in the se­nior com­pe­ti­tion.

Af­ter fall­ing be­hind 24- 12 at half­time, the Crush­ers came roar- ing back af­ter the break, but the likes of Chip­pie Korostchuk and Sione Veuk­iso stood tall for the Li­ons as they claimed their first Agrade tro­phy.

Stow­ers said the Li­ons took a mo­ment af­ter the game to soak in the sig­nif­i­cance of their achieve­ment, but he was adamant they won’t rest on their lau­rels with a tough fi­nals cam­paign ahead.

“I said to the boys to en­joy the mo­ment, but come Tues­day ( at train­ing) it’s back to square one. It doesn’t mat­ter where you fin­ish, it’s nil- all in the fi­nals,” Stow­ers said.

“That was def­i­nitely a game we needed to play. It was tough. Any­one who goes to the River knows what it’s go­ing to be like with their home crowd cheer­ing them on.

“We played well in spurts, but we’re go­ing to have to be a lot bet­ter than what we were.

“You look at Broth­ers and Her­bert River and they’ve been in th­ese po­si­tions be­fore and they can come from any­where ( to win the grand fi­nal).

“You just have got to be on your game.”

The Li­ons have earned the week off af­ter fin­ish­ing in top spot, but Stow­ers plans to keep it busi­ness as usual on the train­ing pad­dock, even or­gan­is­ing an extra ses­sion in place of a game on Sat­ur­day.

The coach said there was plenty of con­fi­dence within the play­ing group, led by hard­ened cam­paign­ers like Nathaniel Bow­man and Daniel Pick­er­ing, and the Li­ons were de­ter­mined to make the most of their op­por­tu­nity.

“We’ve got a lot of con­fi­dence. The boys have trained hard all year and they’ve all bought into what I’ve brought to the club which has been the best thing,” Stow­ers said.

“Western Li­ons have never been in the grand fi­nal, so it’s a big thing for the club and some­thing I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about. We’re 80 min­utes away so we can’t leave any­thing in the tank.”

Broth­ers cap­i­talised on an jury- ravaged Bur­dekin side claim a 42- 14 vic­tory.

Char­ters Tow­ers fin­ished the sea­son with a 25- 14 win over Cen­trals while Norths se­cured their long- awaited first vic­tory of the year af­ter beat­ing Univer­sity 24- 10. into

TOUGH STUFF: Bur­dekin’s David Cherke is crunched by the Broth­ers de­fence in their TDRL clash. Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.