REDFERN: A huge crowd turned out at Redfern Oval for the South Sydney District Junior Rugby League grand final on August 30. For most of the 5,000 or so it was a perfect Sunday afternoon and a perfect result. Twenty-four years since last claiming premiership honours, the Redfern All Blacks defeated the Coogee-Randwick Wombats 42-24 to claim the shield and title of Premiers 2015.
Fans came from far and wide to support the mighty All Blacks. It was a huge occasion for so many families and a big deal for the Aboriginal community. Several of the All Blacks stars are proud Indigenous men with traditional ties to country.
Former Rabbitohs winger Nathan Merritt scored two brilliant tries in the grand final win. After the game, Merritt said: “This is the greatest! This more than compensates for missing out on the [NRL] grand final [in 2014].”
The game was a tight contest, with the Wombats posting first points. The All Blacks showed great skill and composure to lead 18-12 at half time. They went on with it in the second half. Congratulations to Man of the Match Shawn Mealey, captain-coach Dean Widders and all the players, support staff and families. Match officials also deserve acknowledgement for refereeing a fair and free-flowing game.
Earlier in the day the Redfern All Blacks Under 15s defeated Greenacre in their grand final at Belmore. By all reports it was a close and thrilling game, the All Blacks victorious 20-15.