Narrabri’s under-11s arrived home late on Monday tired but still buzzing from a moment in the spotlight they will never forget.
The side had the honour of presenting the premiership rings to the triumphant Roosters players following their 21-6 win over the Melbourne Storm.
It’s an experience the 18 youngsters will long cherish.
Arguably none more so than Brodie Bell.
“He’s a Roosters tragic,” Narrabri and District Junior Rugby League president Luke Browning said.
He got to present centre Joseph Manu with his ring.
Logan Shields presented Clive Churchill Medallist Luke Keary his ring, which Browning said he was over the moon about, while Travis Gibbs-Eulo got a fist pump from Cooper Cronk as he handed over his ring.
“They all loved the opportunity to be able to do that,” Browning said.
“And obviously the atmosphere out on the field, you wouldn’t see bigger smiles on the kids.”
He said the players were great with the boys. Ryan Maddison came over and high-fived and hugged some of them after they lifted the premiership trophy. Another player told the young Blues player when he was handing over his ring he hopes to see him up there one day.
It was a star studded night for the boys.
While they were waiting in the tunnel Paul Gallen came past and gave them all five-fives while Sam Thaiday did a bit of a dance for them when he was coming through.
Equally they were made to feel like stars.
Walking onto the field they were cheered by the crowd, and again when they returned to their seats, which Browning said was wonderful for the boys.
As a momento they were presented with special grand final footballs from the players, which Browning said all they wanted to do was kick around.
“As soon as these boys get a football in their hands they’ve got to kick it around,” he said.
The club only learnt two weeks ago they had been selected to present the rings – the news coming completely out of the blue.
Browning had no idea they had even been nominated by the CRL & PlayNRL North West NSW staff.
“My wife got a phone call from the NRL,” Browning said.
“It was a big shock.”
They were coincidentally already going to be down in Sydney.
“We have an affiliation with the Souths juniors and have had a South Sydney trip going for 40 years. The under-11s go down and play Mascot for the Cotton Cup,” Browning said.
Conversely Souths under-14s come up to Narrabri.
Browning said for the last few years they have tried to tie the Mascot game in with the NRL grand final.
He said the last few years they have tried to tie the game in with the grand final.
Unfortunately they couldn’t snare the silverware, the Mascot defence proving too good.
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