Paterson River claimed the NHRL D-grade Northern Conference premiership after beating Gloucester for the first time this season in the game that counted most.
The River steamrolled the Magpies in the final 15 minutes to run out 42-16 winners after leading 14-12 at half-time in the grand final at Raymond Terrace on Saturday.
It was the club’s first premiership since 2015.
Paterson president Matt Coleman said until the last 15 minutes, four points was the biggest break separating the teams.
“We scored a try and then put on another three quickly and the Gloucester boys dropped their heads and our boys kept going,” Coleman said. “The boys stuck it to them, it was good to see.”
“It has been a great rivalry all year. The first game was a draw, the second game they won by two points up at Gloucester and in the major semi on the Friday night they gave us a real touch up.”
The lesson learned from the major semi-final was that the team needed to lift their discipline.
“We stressed at training during the week that we needed to be disciplined to get the win,” Coleman said.
“Our discipline hasn’t been the best through the year but we didn’t give away any silly penalties or get caught up in any of the rubbish other than playing footy. We kept our heads and stuck to the game plan.”
Coleman paid tribute to the club’s fans who travelled in big numbers to Raymond Terrace for the grand final.
“It was a great crowd, a lot of supporters turned up on the day in the team colours and with streamers and signs it was great to see,” he said.
Coleman said it was an outstanding team performance but centre Andrew Roberts was a deserved winner of the NHRL award for the man of the match.
“Andrew Roberts had a great game and our hooker Matty Garland was a real leader on field,” he said.
Halfback Caleb McGrady and fullback Sam Armstrong also had great games.
The tries were shared around with McGrady and Jay Smith crossing for doubles and Dean Jones, Roberts, Jay Brown and Nathan Bristow getting singles. Garland kicked three goals and Jay Smith and Shawn Humbles one each.