Knockout was a win from every angle
I’VE seen reports that about 30,000 people flocked to Dubbo for the Koori Knockout last weekend.
I spent as much time up there at Apex Oval as I could, getting to see games on Saturday and some of the finals on Monday and the footy was incredible to watch.
Police I’ve spoken to said there were very few incidents of any note in Dubbo across the weekend which is pretty amazing with so many visitors in one place.
So to see almost a doubling of Dubbo’s population over a long weekend and have nothing to report at the end of it is a credit to the organisers, participants and their families and friends who came along.
Well done to the Wellington Wedgetails women’s team who made it into the grand final and a special mention to the gutsiest one single thing I saw on the field all weekend.
The Wedgetails were playing a much bigger Newcastle Yowies outfit and one of their forwards was powering in for a certain try just a couple of metres from the line when she was stopped cold by the much smaller Wello No.6, Majayda Darcy.
To me it looked like the Newy player had run into an invisible wall and I’ll have to watch a replay when I get a sec to see exactly how Majayda made it happen, but it was a split second of courage and commitment that, to me, summed up the intangible that all those on the fields were playing for.
Off the field it really was like a 21st Century version of a Corroboree, a gathering of different family and tribal groups who share many interconnections and many extended-family memories of good times with family and friends.
When it comes to Greg Inglis being pulled over for allegedly speeding and charged for drink driving at Lithgow on the way home, let me say this:
I don’t condone that behaviour in any way, and drinking while driving puts innocent lives at risk as well as your own.
But people are complex individuals and shouldn’t be defined by any one aspect of their character of any one thing that they do.
His behaviour at the Knockout was incredibly generous. I lined with a stack of other people so I could get a snap of him with my young bloke, who’s a massive fan, and I caught a glimpse of a haunted man in his eyes even though he smiled and put his arm on Jude’s shoulder.
G.I. is a bloke who’s been on the record about his battles with mental health and while he’s received the superficial trappings of a stellar NRL career and all that comes with it, at the end of the day he’s just a bloke like anyone else and he made a mistake.
Unlike most of the rest of us, he’ll pay far more for being under the glare of that public spotlight.
But I’d just like to say that allegedly driving over the limit, while
NRL star player Greg Inglis signed autographs for fans at Apex Oval in Dubbo during last weekend’s Knockout Carnival. Sadly, by midweek his world had turned upside down, being suspended for Australia’s two-test tour of New Zealand after being caught drink driving and speeding in Lithgow.
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