'Sensational' Buccs seal grand final glory
"IT was bloody sensational.”
It was one sentence from Yamba Buccaneers coach Scott Moore, but it summed up an entire season after the Yamba side took out the Far North Coast Rugby President's Cup.
The Buccaneers lifted the Maurie Ryan Shield after a dominant 29-3 win over minor premiers Evans River Killer Whales at Crozier Oval.
It was the first time the Buccaneers had lifted the Shield since their premiership season in 2010, and for their coach, it was the culmination of 12 months of hard work.
"I played in that 2010 decider, but I reckon it was harder being on the sideline as a coach, but the feeling is just as sweet,” he said.
"We just smashed them in the end, we wanted to pump them for the first 15 minutes of each half and that's exactly what the boys did.
"We knew if we could get them on the back foot we had the strike power to roll them.”
There was a few nerves go through the Buccaneers camp at the main break with the score at 24-3 - the same halftime score in the major semi-final a fortnight ago when the Killer Whales put on 15 unasnswered second-half points to almost steal the win.
But this time it wasn't to be.
"They beat us in that period coming out of half time in the semi so we knew we had to improve,” Moore said. "The boys just gave it to them. We won the fight. (Evans) knew it too.”
James Fairweather crossed the stripe for a try-scoring double, while prop Bleddyn Gant, captain Jason James and Andrew Kapeen all scored as well.
It was a gutsy team effort from the Buccaneers, with Moore not willing to single any player out over a teammate.
"Even (president Adrian) Miller and I wanted to give out a special player's player of the grand final award, but there was no way we could just give one out,” he said.
"The best part of this win was that everbody stood tall. Even the blokes right down our reserves bench, they all got good minutes and put their all in for the Buccaneers.”
The club also paid special tribute to late Buccaneer Michele Cervella, who was killed in a car accident in Spain in 2015 when he was only 23.
"He was a good kid, a good rugby player and a Buccaneer through and through,” he said.
"He didn't get to play a grand final, let alone win one, for our club, so it got a bit emotional there last night. Once you are in a club like the Buccaneers, you're in it for life. This trophy is as much his, as it is ours.”