Graincorp Cup - Northern Division: Player-coach for a day Brett Conn helps side to much-needed win.

Redbacks coach Brett Conn became a player-coach when pulled on his boots for the first time in a long time to help his side to a 25-20 win over Coolah on Saturday.

FIGHTING HARD: The Redbacks coming together to talk game plans. Photo: FILE

FIGHTING HARD: The Redbacks coming together to talk game plans. Photo: FILE

Redbacks vice president David Sturman said it was great to see the coach running around with his players.

The win really showed great character for us. The guys are all pretty new and haven’t played with each other too much. I think this is the first time that they’ve really gelled and played just about a full game as a unit.

Redbacks vice president David Sturman

“It was the first time in about 15 years or something that Brett had played.

“Considering his time out of the game, he played well. He gave a significant contribution to the team,” Sturman said.

The Redbacks flew out of the blocks to take control of the match early on.

“Our boys really started playing from the kick off. There was really good energy amongst the team initially.”

They took an early lead, but Sturman said the men from Coolah really put the foot down to bounce back. 

“They really came back at us hard after our good start. For the majority of match we traded the lead between us. 

“It was a great hit out over the entire 80 minutes,” Sturman said.

Coolah managed to kick their way to a 20-19 lead late in the second half, but Conn’s side was able to convert two late penalty goals to run out 25-20 winners.  

“The win really showed great character for us. The guys are all pretty new and haven’t played with each other too much. I think this is the first time that they’ve really gelled and played just about a full game as a unit.,” Sturman said.

Sturman said some former players other than Conn returned to play on the weekend, and he hopes that their presence will continue.

Brad Kitch, Henry Redfern, captain Keiran Brien and James Drew were the standouts for Sturman.

“James was our Players’ Player. It was probably the best game he’s played for the club.”

The Redbacks are looking for vengence when they line up against Narromine in Narromine this Saturday.