GYMPIE Hammers exacted the ultimate revenge at Saturday’s game by running out 52 – 39 winners in front of a vocal Nambour crowd.
Last time Gympie and Nambour met, Nambour were the victors 32 – 31 at Albert Park, a result that left a bitter taste in the mouth of Gympie’s coach Dave Crowley.
When questioned about Gympie’s victory, Crowley was full of praise for his troops.
“Last time we played Nambour we did our best to lose the game and we succeeded,” Crowley said.
“This time round we spoke about limiting the opposition’s opportunities and making the most of ours, which by and large, we did.”
Speaking on the commitment of the players, Crowley said, the Hammers had a few blokes out due to injury, others playing their first game back from injury and a bench consisting entirely of men who’d just played 80 minutes of reserve grade rugby.
“We did this for each other,” he said.
In a clinical display Gympie lead 45 – 20 with only 15 minutes to go. Nambour rallied late, scoring two tries before the Hammers scored again to seal the result ahead of Nambour scoring a consolation try on full time.
The victory was all the sweeter for being the farewell game for departing English prop Scott Finlay, who had to return to England due to a family tragedy.
Finlay not only scored a try but kicked his own conversion. Other standout performers were Clinton Hayward, Bryce Henderson, Chris Pearce and Ricki-lee Hasnip.
Captain Andrew Rye lamented Gympie’s lack of intensity in the dying stages.
“Rugby’s like wresting a gorilla,” Rye said. “You don’t give up when you’re tired, you give up when the gorilla’s tired.”
This was the first time Gympie had scored more than 50 points in an A grade game since rejoining the Sunshine Coast competition in 2006 and will go a long way towards avoiding the dreaded wooden spoon.
On Saturday Gympie play Caboolture. Reserve grade kick off at 12:45 and A grade at 2:15. Last time the two sides played in Gympie the result was a 3 point victory to the visitors.
The Hammers are calling on Gympie’s home town support this weekend.