THERE was always a feeling Orange City Lions were getting some help from above at Pride Park on Saturday.
For one player that was more true than most.
Sam Coote scored two tries in his side’s 32-16 premiership-winning effort against Parkes Boars.
A brace in any grand final is a special performance.
But, with the passing of his grandfather and Orange City icon Jack Blunt a month ago, Coote’s performance and the team’s win both take on extra meaning.
“It obviously meant a lot,” the outside centre said after the full-time whistle.
“It’s great anyway, but it’s really special with what he meant to me and to this club.”
The day proved a double celebration of Jack’s family, with Sam’s younger brother Jackson also crossing the stripe in City’s second grade win over Bathurst Bulldogs.
“Jack also played in and won a grand final today, so it’s been a great day,” Coote said.
“We didn’t really speak about him beforehand, but we will tonight and it makes it mean so much.”
The club, celebrating it’s 40th anniversary in 2013, was rocked by a double blow midway through the season, with Blunt’s fellow life member Charlie Brouwers also passing away.
Coote was reluctant to accept too much credit for the win, instead echoing the sentiments of City’s coaching staff, who believe the defending premiers’ defence, especially early in the second half, was the key to victory.
“It was our defence in that period that won it. It was amazing,” Coote said.