Dora Creek buzzing with grand final excitement for its Swampies

LOCAL HOPES: The Dora Creek Swampies will take on Belmont Souths in the Win Network A Grade rugby league grand final at Waratah Oval this Saturday at 3.15pm. Picture: Supplied
LOCAL HOPES: The Dora Creek Swampies will take on Belmont Souths in the Win Network A Grade rugby league grand final at Waratah Oval this Saturday at 3.15pm. Picture: Supplied

THE Dora Creek township is buzzing with grand final fever ahead of the Swampies' big game against Belmont Souths on Saturday.

"The club has organised a 64-seater coach to the game, and that's been sold out," Dora Creek coach David Hoban said this morning.

And one can only guess at how many more fans will make their own way to Waratah Oval for the 3.15pm showdown.

"There's a lot of people going, and there's a nice little buzz in the town," Hoban said.

It's been a while between drinks for Dora Creek rugby league fans.

The Swampies last contested the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League's A-Grade decider 13 years ago.

The Swampies have been the dominant team in the Win Network premiership in 2019.

They claimed the minor premiership, and suffered just one loss in the regular season - a 26-24 defeat to Belmont Souths at Dora Creek. (And Dora Creek almost stole that match at the death.)

But the Swampies hit back strongly to down Belmont Souths 24-6 in the major semi-final and book a seat at the big dance.

KEY MAN: Dora Creek five-eighth Brad Clark provides plenty of quality ball to the wide-running attacking men who have piled on the points for the Swampies in 2019. Picture: David Stewart

KEY MAN: Dora Creek five-eighth Brad Clark provides plenty of quality ball to the wide-running attacking men who have piled on the points for the Swampies in 2019. Picture: David Stewart

Hoban said the team had enjoyed a smooth preparation this week.

"The boys trained exceptionally well," he said.

"Our preparation has gone to plan. We had a session on Saturday, and two sessions this week.

"We just fine-tuned our game plan and we're ready to go."

Hoban said the team had enjoyed an injury-free lead-up to the grand final, but the week was not without its challenges for the coach.

"We're in a very fortunate position in that we have two or three guys who we won't be able to fit into our 19-man squad," he said.

Making a selection decision and telling players that they wouldn't be part of the grand final squad was one of the most difficult parts of coaching, Hoban said.

The coach wouldn't enter into discussions about who deserved to be favourite to win on Satuday, and whether favouritism changed things.

"Our focus is really just to worry about ourselves, to stay nice and relaxed," Hoban said.

"It's just another game of football."

The grand final was simply a different forum for his players to display the skills, fitness, and resilience that had served them so well all season, he said.

"We're confident we can get the job done," he said.

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