Buoyed by a raucous crowd, Maheno triumphed 18-7 over a gallant Old Boys to win the 2019 Citizens Shield on Saturday.
The first half was an even affair – Old Boys’ electric first-five Inoke Naufahu converted his own try before Maheno centre Clement Gasca scored to make it 7-7 at halftime.
In a tense second half, Maheno gave nothing away.
Old Boys ran hard and shifted the ball to stretch the defence, but Maheno swarmed over everything.
Robbie Smith added three penalties to a Forrest Beer try, and flanker Marcus Balchin was like a heading dog after a runaway ewe, tearing into every breakdown and tackle.
Josh Clark was immense and ensured a steady supply of lineout ball, while Smith directed his team around the park.
Old Boys did not roll over, though. Toni Taufa was as physical as ever and Naufahu directed the play and looked dangerous whenever he ran with the ball.
Despite greasy conditions, it was a quality game and both teams looked to be positive and keep ball in hand.
Maheno coach Chris Jennings praised his side’s “amazing defensive effort”.
“We worked really hard on line speed.
“We knew [Old Boys] were a big physical side that would come straight at us and be direct.
“We are really lucky to have the supporters that we do; it means a lot to the community.
“The boys are aware of that so it gives them a massive lift.”
In the President’s grade final, Valley B played to the conditions to defeat Kurow B 24-0.
Valley controlled the ball for the majority of the match, frustrating Kurow into giving away penalties.
Valley kicked for the corner and, although the Kurow defence held up for long periods, the weight of territory and possession paid off and Valley emerged deserved victors.
Maheno 18 (Clement Gasca, Forrest Beer tries; Robbie Smith con, 2 pen) Old Boys 7 (Inoke Naufahu try; Naufahu con)