BOOMERANGS coach Chris Binge has worked long and hard to shape the Moree side into the team that is heavy favourite to take out tomorrow’s Group 19 grand final against Gwydir at Moree’s Burt Jovanovic Oval.
Binge, along with former first grade-now reserve grade coach Warren Sampson, has had to completely break down and reassemble the club that was famous for its razzle dazzle style of football that entertained crowds but lacked consistency and didn’t stand up in the big games.
“This season has been a long time coming,” Binge said.
“Structurally we are a lot tighter than we used to be and our discipline is much better.”
“Gone are the days where the Rangs played out of their own half.”
Binge believes he has the most under-rated pack in the league, a pack that has rolled forward through teams all season to set the necessary platforms for the Rangs’ backs to score a multitude of tries this year.
“We had to start by getting the forwards to play as a pack.”
“Get the ball, hold on to it and work their way down the field.”
“We had to get the side to play the percentages – territory and possession is what wins games.”
This is the first year Binge has been at the helm of the side for a season but the style and structure he has created this year has come from 14 years of coaching experience.
Previously the coach has taken the Rangs through some gala days and knockout competitions, and is fully aware of the potential in the side.
The Rangs are not short of attacking brilliance, with the likes of Jamie Smith and Jamie Sampson among others in the backs, but now have reined it in to use more efficiently.
“That style of game is still in us and we can use it when we need to but we can also grind a win out as well,” Binge said.
“The razzle dazzle is a good fall-back point if things get desperate.”
The Rangs might need to find a bit of both to beat underdogs Gwydir, who play a very similar game, and boast attacking danger in similar positions.
They have the likes of Mitch Porter, Dave McGrady and try-scoring winger Harold Duncan out wide.
But Gwydir coach Peter Stevens believes the experience in the Boomerangs side might be a trump card for the home side.
“They do have a lot of good, experienced players,” he said.
“Craig McKenzie, Luke Raveneau and Matt Marshall just to name a few.”
It’s something he doesn’t have in great abundance and will rely on skipper Matty Cleal and five-eighth Dave McGrady to steer his side around.
“If we can tackle for long enough we can give ourselves a chance,” he said.
“They’re all fit – a couple didn’t train Tuesday night but will be right.”
Just being able to make a grand final after forming the new club at the start of the season has been an accomplishment for Stevens and the combined Warialda and Bingara club.
It has also been something of a journey for the Boomerangs who had been in the rugby league wilderness for a number of years until 2010.
Some on and off-field discretions led to them being de-registered, a battle which even went to the Supreme Court.
Season 2010 marked their return to Group 19 and three years later they have been the form team of the competition and, with a home grand final, are hot favourites to take the flag for the first time since they beat Inverell in 1994.
They also won the Group 19 Club Championship trophy this year and have all three men’s grades playing in their respective grand finals tomorrow, testament to the organisation and the people that turned the Rangs around.
Tomorrow’s grand final day kicks off at 10am with the Ladies’ League Tag grand final between Glen Innes and