THE fate of Orange Hawks rested solely on his boot in the thrilling 12-11 major semi-final victory over Orange CYMS two weeks ago, but two blues centre Brock McGarity is hoping tomorrow’s clash will be a little different.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that,” the classy three-quarter said, with his successful 45-metre penalty goal right on full-time gifting Hawks their first grand final berth since 2003.
“If it does, though, I’d definitely step up again.”
McGarity’s winner is one of the big reasons tomorrow’s game, the first between CYMS and Hawks in a premier league grand final, is being billed as one of the biggest in Orange rugby league history.
Only just entering CYMS territory and having been awarded a penalty with 40 seconds to go, McGarity lined up the kick at goal and nailed it.
It never looked like missing.
Ironically, the same can’t be said for his conversion attempt 10 minutes earlier.
Lining up a shot at two points after Todd Barrow darted over to lock up the score at 10-all, McGarity shanked his kick at goal from just to the right of the uprights at the southern end of Wade Park.
Lucky rugby league and redemption go hand in hand.
When you look at Hawks last season, too, the turnaround has been remarkable.
Seventh out of eight sides in 2012, Hawks battled with both player availability and injury last winter.
Results might not have been positive - the two blues won just five games - but the groundwork was being laid.
“Last year kind of set it up this year,” McGarity said
“Getting all of the blokes who stayed on and turned up week in, week out when numbers were down ... at the end of last year we had half of first grade playing reserve grade just so the club avoided a forfeit.
“It really built mateship at the club. Just to play a grand final with these boys means everything.
“Now we’re here, you want to play for the mate beside you.”
McGarity’s record come the last game of the year isn’t too bad.
With Orange Emus, Canberra Vikings and Warringah in the Shute Shield, rugby union grand finals have been kind to the outside back, netting him six premierships in six attempts.
But what will deliver him a league title come tomorrow afternoon?
“I’d say up front. Size is a big part of any team,” he said.