Group 11 grand final: Veteran Moran wanted to give '110%' in Cowboys' win

Community: Moran gets the ball moving as a crowd of the Cowboys' faithful look on. Photo: Belinda Soole.
Community: Moran gets the ball moving as a crowd of the Cowboys' faithful look on. Photo: Belinda Soole.

It's been a strange journey for Dennis Moran.

The last time the NRL and Group 11 footy legend won a premiership it was in 2013, after putting the finishing touches on the Parkes Spacemen's win over Dubbo CYMS.

Before that, it was during a 2010 rout of the Wellington Cowboys, the last time the Cowboys had even come close to securing a Group 11 title in the competition's first grade.


Moran earned best and fairest during that season and has built up an incredibly lengthy list of achievements in his Group 11 playing career.

But on Sunday, in a strange twist of fate, the footy veteran found himself earning one more; helping the Cowboys to a first grade premiership win that's eluded them for 25 years.

Just like last time Moran helped defeat CYMS in a decider, the experience and skill shone through as Moran helped guide the Cowboys around the field from dummy-half and helped set up the first Wellington try of the game when he sent a beautiful cut-out pass to Mac Dutfield.

"At the end of the day, you're doing it for the team you're playing for," he said after the win.

"Even when I was with the other teams, like Parkes, it was no different, you just got to make sure that you put in 110% for whoever you're playing for, and that's what I did out there today."

Dutfield, for his part, couldn't believe that he'd been the one to open up the scoreboard for the Cowboys.

The opening try came just minutes after the prop had been held-up in goal by some desperate CYMS defence.

"It was hard at the beginning there for sure," Dutfield said.

"I went over once and they didn't allow it, but that second time I went over - that felt pretty good."

Moran's verdict on what set the Cowboys apart from their rivals on grand final day was a familiar theme throughout the day for the Wellington crowd; the need to support one another.

"We just wanted to work hard, and work hard for each other," Moran said.

"All the boys today wanted to support each other, last time we played CYMS in the major we clocked off, but we didn't clock off this time."

The drought-ending title win might not have been as hard fought a victory as some of Moran's earlier experiences, but the feeling on the day definitely ranked as one of the best.

"It's unbelievable, it's a community thing that gets behind everything," he said.

"You see yourself here and you look up at that hill during the game, just listening to that crowd roar, it's a great credit to the community and to be able to bring that community together.

"That's what football does and it gets people in the right frame of mind."