Sharks savour their remarkable success
IT was 50 years in the making but in the famous words of super coach Jack Gibson "Ding dong the witch is dead".
These words can now be applied to the Cronulla Sharks who have finally claimed their maiden premiership. They went into the decider as outsiders even though they had been in great form in their previous two semi-final victories.
Against the best defensive team and final specialists in Melbourne, coach Shane Flanagan had a game plan and the Sharks pulled it off very well.
Like all Storm teams, they wear sides down and gradually get the upper hand before striking the killer blow late in a game. However on this occasion, the Sharks would triumph.
When the man who should have won the Clive Churchill Medal, Andrew Fifita, barnstormed his way over the tryline, Cronulla were on the cusp of claiming victory.
The drought was finally broken and the Shire could start to party.
Several players put in super efforts, including captain Paul Gallen, prop Fifita, the courageous Jack Bird, five eight James Maloney and Clive Churchill winner Luke Lewis.
THE Cronulla Sharks were not the only fairytale story last weekend with the Western Bulldogs claiming the AFL Premiership after a 62 year drought.
The Bulldogs limped into the finals in seventh position after a last round loss to bottom side Fremantle.
Most experts claimed they were only making up the numbers.
Week one saw them fly across the country to face the Eagles. At full-time, the Bulldogs had accounted for the Eagles by 47 points.
Most judges applauded the victory but still claimed the Bulldogs had no chance against reigning premiers Hawthorn.
A 23 point victory moved them to a clash with the Giants who would start red hot favourites.
The Bulldogs made it three in a row, defeating GWS by six points.
For the grand final, coach Luke Beveridge had them primed to the minute as they over ran Sydney by 22 points and claim an historic victory.
You will go a long way before you will find a better sporting gesture than what we saw from Beveridge.
The Bulldogs coach was called up onto the stage to make his victory speech and receive his winners medal. He thanked all concerned and called for Bulldogs legend and injured team captain Robert Murphy to join him.
Beveridge took his winners medal from around his neck and gave it to Murphy.
This extraordinary action shows the kind of bloke that Beveridge is, a man with a great heart who all players at the Bulldogs hold in the highest regard.
In the days that followed Murphy returned the medal to his coach who then gave it to the Bulldogs Museum to proudly display for all fans to appreciate.
BOMBER'S bouquet 1: I applaud Mal Meninga's stance on not selecting Andrew Fifita in the upcoming Four Nations tournament. Players must realise that they must behave off the field as well.
Bomber's bouquet 2: Soccer fans can rejoice as the A League season started last night. The competition promises to be the closest in recent times.
Bomber's bouquet 3: Welcome back to the Brisbane Bullets. The city has been crying out for your return. Supporters must now turn up to make them a success.
Bomber's beef 1: Racism in sport at any level should not and will not be tolerated. If anyone is found guilty of this they should be fully dealt with.
Bomber's best: This week I see Perth Glory as victors against CCM so take them into the Illawarra Hawks to defeat the Adelaide 36ers.
Who am I?
I WAS born on April 3, 1989 in Minto NSW. My family moved to Ipswich where I started playing my chosen sport with a local club. I rose to the top of my sport playing for Queensland on five occasions and Australia eight times.
I then received a huge money offer to defect to another sport where I played 13 games in the one season. I then moved to another sport where I have reached the top playing for the state 60 times and Country 46 times.
Last week's answer: Cricketer Greg Ritchie.