Knock­out was a win from ev­ery an­gle

Dubbo Photo News - - Dubbo Weekender -

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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