44-year drought broken with Paterson River winning league grand final

Winners are grinners.  Paterson River Rugby League grand final winners.  Photos by Charles Elias
Winners are grinners. Paterson River Rugby League grand final winners. Photos by Charles Elias

Paterson River capped off a remarkable season to win the Newcastle & Hunter Rugby League C Grade Premiership with a 24-4 victory over Morisset at Raymond Terrace on Saturday.

Paterson hasn’t won a grand final since 1971.

A devastating opening 15 minutes by the River had Morisset play catch up footy for the most part, as the Bulls had to turn around a 16 point margin.

Although the Bulls fought gallantly, the early start by River wounded the Bulls.

Joshua Murdoch opened the scoring for Paterson River, crashing over in the corner. A great kick from the sideline by Jay Smith made it 6-nil after eight minutes.

Paterson River then went the length of the field in the next set of six to score their second try. Fullback Jay Smith cut through the defence and ran around under the posts to make his conversion easy.

It was now 12-nil and the game was barley 10 minutes old.

If things were not bad enough for the Bulls, the rain began to fall heavily making handling difficult. The wet weather didn’t seem to affect Paterson River though, as they marched up field and soon had their third thanks to Tyrone Smith.

When Morisset finally had some decent possession in the opposition half, the Paterson River defence stepped up and kept multiple attacking raids from the Bulls out.

Action in the Paterson River (blue colours) v Morisset game. Photos by Charles Elias

Action in the Paterson River (blue colours) v Morisset game. Photos by Charles Elias

The score would remain 16-nil at half time. Although the the score was 16 nil, the Bulls had not dropped their bundle and were still in it, they just needed to be the first to score in the second half.

The Bulls did just that and came out the blocks flying, scoring the opening try to make it 16-4 with Dane Chenhall scoring in the right corner.

Morisset had several opportunities to score at least three more tries but the bounce of the ball was just not going their way, plus you could not fault the Paterson River effort in defence.

They withstood a lot of pressure from Morisset and could have been forgiven for letting in another try.

Action in the Paterson River (blue colours) v Morisset game. Photos by Charles Elias

Action in the Paterson River (blue colours) v Morisset game. Photos by Charles Elias

Paterson River was then awarded a penalty and Jay Smith kicked a goal to give his side an 18-4 lead midway through the second half.

The way the game was unfolding that goal would prove crucial as Morisset now needed to score three times.

The good defensive effort by River was again rewarded, when hooker Matthew Garland found an opening to score the blue and whites fourth and final try of the game. Jay Smith converted the Garland try and the River now had a comfortable 24-4 lead.

Although down by 20, the Bulls kept coming but just couldn’t get over the line.

The great start by Paterson River was enough to get them home.

Paterson River were 24-4 winners over Morisset in a game that had everything from big hits, great tries and crazy weather.