Diary of a win-deprived Blues fan

287300-5cbe5444-f6ed-11e3-8ea9-a081f3513119By Jack Brady

Nothing could wipe the smile off my face.

Sitting there with 80,000 others in ANZ Stadium watching Trent Hodkinson cross for the one and only try in the match I just couldn’t help myself.

No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t prevent myself celebrating the Blues success – notepad and pen in hand.

I looked to the left of me and watched the famous Blatchy’s Blues go deservingly crazy.

I watch grown men and women go bezerk and children not quite grasp the seriousness of what exactly was happening.

At this point in time everyone bled blue.

Mere minutes later,  Jarryd Hayne breaks down in tears, Beau Scott jumps into the crowd and Paul Gallen lifts both fists in the air and gives a glorious running hug to Laurie Daley.

The momentous occasion had become apparent. The win and series had been secured.

Victory thy name is New South Wales.

Yet who would have thought it would be Hodkinson that would win the series for the Blues?

I mean, I couldn’t even pronounce his name properly a month ago yet now he has etched his name in my heart forever.

Growing up in an era where Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler, Trent Barrett and Craig Gower reigned supreme who could’ve imagined that a man who was kept out of the Bulldogs run to the grand final two years ago (because of Kris Keating of all people) would win us the series?

Going through high school and university with zero Blues wins to boast about was bad enough especially with bandwagon Queensland supporters constantly reminding you about it every step of the way.

Just think if Mitchell Pearce decided to stay at home on that ill-fated night then who knows where we might be right now.

We might feel bad about the situation but happiness soon consumes us when we realise that victory is finally ours!

While a hint of sadness dawns on me that my beloved Newcastle Knights have won the same amount of games as the Blues this season, I’m happy to take any win I can get my hands on.

At the end of the day social media doesn’t know what has hit it and who can blame us?

It’s been a long, long time coming.

With a hint of irony and a major sense of relief we can finally boast as tongue-in-cheek as it may be – #oneinarow.

Go the Blues!

Solace at Seven: Tyrone Roberts

By Jack Brady

Scott Dureau and Luke Walsh have come and gone while Jarrod Mullen and Kurt Gidley have positioned themselves elsewhere.

It has been seven years since now immortal Andrew Johns bid adieu to the NRL and the Newcastle Knights. Ironically it has been almost that long since the Newcastle Knights last won a finals game before this season.

Here we are faced with an almost unrecognisable prospect – the Newcastle Knights in the final four of an NRL competition and if it weren’t for the guidance of 22-year-old, Tyrone Roberts, who knows where the Knights would’ve ended up

Off the back of an inspirational man-of-the-match performance against Melbourne last weekend, Roberts has led the Knights to a mouthwatering showdown against minor-premiers, the Sydney Roosters this weekend.

However, this may not have been so if Knights coach Wayne Bennett had his way a couple of weeks ago.

From all accounts, Roberts was not a happy camper when Bennett decided to give 35 year-old New South Wales and Australian representative veteran Craig Gower a contract mid-season and former Canberra halfback Michael Dobson a lifeline for 2014.

In fact, if it weren’t for Gower’s currently injured back, Roberts may not have been even in the side at the moment – a ridiculous proposition in retrospect with Gower showing nothing but his age since returning to the NRL.

Roberts has proven since that he is the man for the job.

He is now leading premiership-winning forwards Willie Mason, Danny Buderus, Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith and Neville Costigan in scintillating fashion.

Tyrone Roberts may just be the x-factor that the Newcastle Knights have been seeking since Johns’ retirement.

A twelve-year premiership drought may be rained upon by success if Tyrone Roberts has anything to do with it.