SUNDAY’S win at the inaugural Kids in Care Cup at WIN Stadium is definitely a step in the right direction for the South Coast Salt Water Warriors.
Warriors player Nathan Deaves said they always went in confident, but was bit surprised to win the whole thing.
“We’re pretty stoked actually, it’s a really good feeling,” he said.
“This was mostly about building for the future and now we’ve laid the foundations and the guys are already talking about next year.
“The hard yards have been done and that’s going to be a really good thing in the long run.”
After receiving a forfeit in the opening round, the Warriors thrashed Sydney team Brothers United 48-nil in their first game.
They then had some tougher contests against South West Metro, who they defeated 26-10 and then beat the Mindaribba Warriors 26-20 in the final.
In a pretty physical and fast-paced final, they jumped out to a 22-nil lead at half-time, before their opponents hit back and they just managed to hold on.
Deaves said it just goes to show that you have always got to be on the ball in knockout footy.
While many of them have played together in the past, this was their first hit out as a team and Deaves thought they gelled really well.
“We had a really fit and mobile forward pack and the speed in the backline definitely helped in the final,” he said.
Former NRL player Richie Williams, who played at five-eighth was named player of the tournament and Dwayne Bannon and Ben Wellington worked hard all day in the middle of the field.
Wylie Manton was another standout at fullback and Scott Laurie was the best in the forwards.
Deaves said he thought the day went well for a first-time event.
“It was very well organised, it was all positive and it was a very good atmosphere.
“Just a great community feel and everyone was there to support a good cause.”
They are now committed to competing at the main Koori Knockout in 2014 and are hoping they can bring it back to the Shoalhaven in the next few years.
Deaves said he wanted to thank their sponsors Koori Kids Pty Ltd, Habitat Personnel and Victa Sports for making it all possible.