There’s only one thing the Geurie Goats would love more than a maiden premiership, and that’s to knock off Wellington on the way to lifting the shield.
This Saturday, at the Geurie Showground, the success-starved Goats get their chance when they host the Redbacks in the 2018 GrainCorp Cup Northern Division grand final.
Geurie won through to the big dance on the back of a rare mix of speed and power, largely via the efforts of ex-NSW Country Cockatoos star Filisone Pauta, while Wellington has all the momentum following back-to-back wins in sudden death semi-finals.
Given there’s just a little over 20 minutes between the two towns and the little-brother-big-brother rivalry is already there between the two clubs, it’s the decider everyone wants.
“We were pretty confident against Molong, I think Molong knew they couldn't beat us … but Wellington has a bit more of an arrogance about them and will come here thinking they can win,” Dowell said.
“It’ll be tight, like all grand finals. But if we can stick to our structure and play the way we have all year we’ll win.
“It’s no secret we don’t like each other. We’ve been, in the past, the whipping boys of the competition but over the last two years Wellington hasn’t beaten us, and we’d like that to remain the case come Saturday.”
Dowell is expecting a bumper crowd on grand final day, predicting over 2000 people to flood the Geurie Showground.
Geurie’s population floats around the 500-people mark.
“It’s the grand final we wanted. It’s bigger than us playing Molong, it’ll be a bit sweeter when we win, too,” Dowell added.
“For us, it’s probably a bigger game. It’ll mean more to us than them, because of where we’ve come from. It’s more remarkable for us to be in a grand final.
“Wellington has always been strong. The size of the town, they should be in grand final every year.”
Dowell praised the 2018 season of Pauta, one he believes would have netted the ball-of-granite centre another Country jumper had it not been for injury, and suspension.
He also lauded Moavuka Kavauka and prop Siua Sinisa, describing the former as “one of the best players in Central West”, and said young half Charlie Edwards was arguably the best No.9 in the region, too.
Geurie has beaten Wellington twice this season, 27-nil and 17-13.
Kick-off is at 3.15pm on Saturday.