Collegians Claim Gritty Premiership Win

Updated: September 11, 2017

By Mitch Jennings / Illawarra Mercury – Photo by Robert Peet

BIG games inevitably to come down to big moments and Collegians skipper Blake Phillips owned his in Sunday’s Illawarra League grand final.

The Dogs may well have thought their premiership bird had blown when Dapto flyer Rob Buaserau scooped up a loose ball and raced 60 metres to take a 14-12 lead with 20 minutes to play. Having surrendered a 12-0 lead, Collies could have folded on the momentum swing.

Instead, Phillips put his side on his back 11 minutes from fulltime and carried them, and several Dapto defenders, to the title. The solo try followed an earlier hit-back from Jordan Bowles, with the Dogs good enough to defend their 22-14 lead to the final siren.

“You wouldn’t expect anything else from Boofa [Phillips],” coach Nathan Fien said.

“He’s just a legend, he leads the forward pack and is our man in the engine room. He never says die, he’s our leader and all the boys jumped on board and got it done. 

“Momentum was probably against us going into halftime. We had to dig our way out of it in the second half but the character we’ve been able to build throughout the year was evident again.

“No matter what position we’re in, or whether we were behind, we always give ourselves the chance to get back and win those games. I couldn’t be prouder.” 

Click here to read full match report in The Illawarra Mercury