ANDREW JOHNS CUP: South Grafton Rebels junior Jordan Gallagher in action for the Northern Rivers Titans during the 2019  final in Mudgee.
ANDREW JOHNS CUP: South Grafton Rebels junior Jordan Gallagher in action for the Northern Rivers Titans during the 2019 final in Mudgee. Contributed

CRL: Titans junior amazed at cup win

RUGBY LEAGUE: For someone who usually plays in the halves, coming off the bench as an interchange hooker was an unfamiliar experience for South Grafton junior Jordan Gallagher, but it if it meant a spot in the Northern Rivers Titans' side during the CRL Championships, it was a challenge Gallagher was ready to take on.

The gamble was rewarded on Saturday when the Titans claimed the Andrew Johns Cup for the under-16s competition with a 18-6 win over the Western Rams.

 

WINNERS: The Northern Rivers Titans after their 18-6 win over Western Rams to claim the CRL Andrew Johns Cup.
WINNERS: The Northern Rivers Titans after their 18-6 win over Western Rams to claim the CRL Andrew Johns Cup. Contributed

Gallagher said the win was an incredible experience, and he was thrilled to be a part of the team, coached by Grafton's Shaun Davison.

"I was nervous sitting on the bench during the game but when I ran onto the field I knew what my job was and I'm just happy that I could do it and help my team win," he said.

"We had been pretty dominate through the competition, and I think it showed in the final.

"It was a really amazing experience playing on an NRL rated field and just having the opportunity to play in a final like that, it was pretty amazing."

 

ALL SMILES: South Grafton Rebels junior Jordan Gallagher with the Andrew Johns Cup following the Northern Rivers Titans 18-6 win over Western Rams.
ALL SMILES: South Grafton Rebels junior Jordan Gallagher with the Andrew Johns Cup following the Northern Rivers Titans 18-6 win over Western Rams. Contributed

Gallagher said while playing at hooker had been unfamiliar to him, he approached the challenge of a new role with positivity.

"I gave it my all and I'm really grateful to have been given the chance to play," he said.

"It's a position I'm a lot more comfortable with now. The professionalism of the players and coaches was great, and the whole tournament was quite intense. The games were faster and at a higher level, and I'm glad we all rose to the occasion.

"The win was super exciting and something I'll hold on to for the rest of my life."

 

BEST ON FIELD: North Coast Bulldogs' Shellie Long received a signed Jillaroos jersey for best on ground for her North Coast side.
BEST ON FIELD: North Coast Bulldogs' Shellie Long received a signed Jillaroos jersey for best on ground for her North Coast side. Contributed

While the Titans tasted grand final victory, the Women's North Coast Bulldogs came up short against the Riverina Bulls, going down 28-14. While the Bulldogs, which featured South Grafton's Mishika Randall, Shellie Long and Karri Williams, were the underdog story of the competition they couldn't keep the momentum going against the Bulls. Williams crossed for a try in her side's loss.

 

GAME OVER: North Coast Bulldogs and Riverina Bulls players gather after the Bulls came away with a 28-14 win in the Women's CRL Championships.
GAME OVER: North Coast Bulldogs and Riverina Bulls players gather after the Bulls came away with a 28-14 win in the Women's CRL Championships. Contributed