RUGBY league scholars will tell you to win a grand final, you must first taste defeat in one.
Having lost deciders in 2011 and 2012, the Bloomfield Tigers under 16s team finally tasted the grand final glory they were due courtesy of a 36-22 win over the Lithgow Storm at Tony Luchetti Sportsground on Saturday.
Easily the best team throughout the regular season, the Tigers translated that form into a 30-minute onslaught to set up the win in the final game of the 2013 Group 10 Junior Rugby League grand final day in Lithgow.
Bloomfield led their Lithgow opponents 26-4 at half-time to effectively have the grand final win they’ve been looking for over the course of the last two seasons in the bag.
Lithgow came back somewhat in the second period, but the Tigers proved too strong, eventually running out 14-point victors and premiers in their last season of junior football.
Coach Todd Barrow said the win was set up by his side’s opening half.
“They’ve lost the last two grand finals, they were pretty determined to win, I could tell that by the way they trained over the last two weeks,” Barrow said.
“They’re a good side. They did it all themselves.”
With six Western Division players in the side and only dropping the one game throughout the 2013 minor premiership, the Tigers had every right to go into the game as favourites.
They lived up to that tag and Barrow said the most pleasing aspect of the win was the boys enjoyed it.
“It was good to see how much the young blokes enjoyed their footy,” Barrow said, with younger brother Jye Barrow named man of the match.
“I don’t think there was a bad player on the field.
“It was really good (coaching junior footy). I think I got more out of it than they did.”