Woolford magic to get encore
“THAT was magic, absolute magic.”
Canterbury hooker Zac Woolford pulled off one of the great grand final plays against Newtown Jets last weekend, a moment so brilliant it left Phil Gould in awe.
As the Bulldogs face off against Redcliffe Dolphins in the NRL state championships today, Woolford won’t hesitate to roll the dice again.
Playing for a new NRL contract, the son of Canberra legend Simon Woolford gambled on a play he’s practised all season, but never had the confidence to attempt in a match.
Ten minutes into the second half with his side trailing 10-6, Woolford was at dummyhalf on the Newtown tryline, 15m from touch.
The Bulldogs had numbers on the left but the crafty number nine opted to throw a fourman cut-out ball to his open winger Josh Bergamin to score in the corner.
“We practised it all year, and every time we run it the winger always comes back and says ‘it’s on over the top if you want to throw it’,” Woolford said.
“Obviously it’s ballsy, if the winger gets hold of it, he’s going 100m. So, as it worked out I had a little look up and saw their winger come in, so I thought ‘why not’?
“I’ve spoken to Dad about it a hundred times, he said ‘mate, you might only get one chance a game so when it comes you’ve got to throw it’.’’
Captain Rhyse Martin nailed the conversion in windy conditions to give the Bulldogs the lead for the first time in the game and they held on to claim an 18-12 victory.
The men from Belmore now turn their attention to Queensland champions Redcliffe, a side littered with NRL experience.
Woolford knows his side have a tough task to lift mentally after riding the emotions of a grand final victory, but says the Bulldogs will be ready.