A win for the past, present and future
RUGBY LEAGUE: IN a town where rugby league is life, a 16-year streak without a trophy had tensions high.
The long wait lifted on Saturday as the full-time siren sounded, handing the Woorabinda Warriors their first title since 2000.
For the Warriors, their 52-30 win over the Norths Chargers in the Reserve Grade grand final was a victory for more than just their team.
For a place where death is a common occurrence, it was a win to savour, celebrate and remember. It was a win for a whole community.
Captain Gerry Doyle was the sole survivor from their 2000 premiership.
"Over the last two months we have lost a lot of loved ones back home, and all I asked from the boys was to believe in each other and give everything they've got," Doyle told said at full-time.
"And they did it with pride and honour.
"I'm a police officer and for me, I want the guys to look up to me as a leader. I believe I am one and I took my boys with me today and they made me proud.
"We have a bunch of young fellas that play on belief."
Doyle took time to single out one player, Jack Bond.
"He lost his Dad only two weeks ago and for him to come out and play the way he did was inspiring," Doyle explained.
"He was outstanding and played with such passion. I know his Dad was there with him and would have been proud."
Pride, passion, belief and courage, combined with the natural attacking flair saw 17 players do it for the love of the game.
And they did the double, claiming the minor premiership with an average attack that yielded 45 points per game.
Joseph Oakley thrilled crowds with 27 tries for the season and Lawrence Roberts the runaway leading point scorer with 188.
Coach Daniel Roberts said the hard work had paid off.
"We have worked on our attack all year. We are pretty red hot with the ball in hand so we knew we just had to hold onto it and we would get away with it," Roberts said.
"We only got back together this year, been going since pre-season when we were training every day a week early on.
"I can't pick a stand out, the whole side put a shift in and teamwork got us over the line."
From here, it is simple. Doyle wants a Woorabinda team in all three grades. And with the amount of players currently in the competition, it is more than a pipe dream.
"This is not only about Woorabinda, it is about football. These boys love playing league and we would love to get three grades playing," he said.
"We have a lot of players who play for Rockhampton clubs and we want them to come home and make a strong A-grade side. I think we can be really competitive."