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The sledge that riled Goodna coach ahead of decider

MOTIVATOR: Goodna coach Laurie Campbell was fired up to beat Fassifern.
MOTIVATOR: Goodna coach Laurie Campbell was fired up to beat Fassifern. David Nielsen

IT was the sledge that Goodna Eagles coach Laurie Campbell used to fire himself and his men up in the grand final against Fassifern.

Campbell has revealed to the QT how he never forgot two things that were said when Fassifern gave Goodna a towelling earlier in the year.

Goodna won their major semi-final 30-28 after the bell against Fassifern and then eclipsed that performance in the decider to win 32-14.

"What motivated me was two things from when we went out and played Fassifern and they gave us a touch-up," Campbell said.

"They were yelling out at Ray Baira from the can bar. He'd just scored two tries and they were yelling out 'out with the old and in with new' because he had left them to come to us.

"They were laughing at Ray when they belted us.

"Then Corey Kirk told me that during the game one of their blokes came past and clipped him and said 'you fellas are s***'.

"Corey said 'fair enough, we'll see you in the finals' and then their bloke said 'you won't even make the grand final'.

"Corey said that you don't win grand finals in June.

"It is fair enough to have a sledge, but you don't say that about people at Goodna. That is just motivation.

"From then I said 'OK, we'll play this game harder', so I stepped it up.

"While things may have not gone right for us against them during the season I said to my boys 'don't worry about it because we know how to beat them'."

 

MAGIC: Ray Baira ran like the wind in the GF.
MAGIC: Ray Baira ran like the wind in the GF. David Nielsen

Campbell has proven to be a master motivator.

In the sheds before the grand final he pulled Baira aside and said to him "you are better than the magic man".

He was referring to Fassifern's centre Leveni Kurimalawai who had been tagged "the magic man" in a QT story. Baira, playing against his old club and marking Kurimalawai, went out and had a blinder.

While Kurimalawai scored two tries it was Baira who set up two and scored one himself and was the best back on the field.

Coaches have used motivational ploys like that for as long as the game has been played. One of the most famous in the modern era was Wayne Bennett's manoeuvre before the 1993 grand final against St George.

Bennett had told his Broncos players that a Dragons tip sheet had been leaked to him. The tip sheet was highly critical of several of his key players.

The Daily Telegraph's Paul Kent wrote an article about the saga back in 2013 and interviewed Bronco and Ipswich legend Kevin Walters about what the tip sheet had said about him.

"I can't remember it word for word but it went along the lines of 'the least potential of the Walters brothers, lives in Langer's shadow', all that sort of stuff," Walters told Kent.

"It probably wasn't that far off the mark," he laughed, "but still . . . it rattled the cage a bit and got me a bit fired up. You like to prove people wrong. 

"Lazzo (Glenn Lazarus), he was slow around the ruck. Gilly (Trevor Gillmeister), he was over-rated with his defence

 

. . . He put that to bed in the first couple of minutes. We took it pretty personal."

It emerged later that Bennett had written it all himself and in a master move had found the raw nerve of his players to fire them up.

It will never be known for sure exactly what was said in that Fassifern v Goodna clash earlier in the year.

Of course, players and coaches use perceived slights to motivate themselves and those they mentor. Campbell's own motivation was clear and it rubbed off on his players in the decider, where Goodna did not have a bad performer.

"It just showed the class of our fellas," Campbell said

"They were above the level of some of the blokes at Fassifern. I spoke to them all about lifting, and they did."

Topics:  fassifern bombers goodna eagles kevin walters laurie campbell ray baira wayne bennett



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