Tabulam takes the glory in Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout
TABULAM had plenty to play for when they won the final of the Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout carnival 27-10 against Cabbage Tree Island at Crozier Field, Lismore, yesterday.
The Turtle Divers had not made a final in years and dedicated the win to Alex Walker, who broke his neck during a carnival at Byron Bay two years ago.
"We got this team together for Alex and it's all in support of him," Tabulam captain Roy Bell said.
"We've been in pretty regular contact with him and this is a massive deal for us.
"About 90% of the team are from Tabulam and the other guys we've known all our lives."
It was fitting Tabulam and Cabbage Tree Island played in the final, with history dating back to the Timber Cup second division competition when Tabulam and Wardell were great rivals.
Tabulam winger Fred Waters scored a double in the first 10 minutes before an ankle injury brought him down in the second half.
There was a 20-minute delay while an ambulance came to take him to Lismore Base Hospital.
"We're all going to go up there and see him now," Bell said.
"He came all the way from Armidale to play with us and I hope he has a speedy recovery.
"It's tough footy and the further you go in the competition the harder it is."
It wasn't all about the razzle dazzle with Cabbage Tree Island captain Josh Cook named player of the carnival for his tireless efforts at lock throughout the weekend.
Anthony Robinson, Ray Mercy and Kevin Torrens also scored tries for Tabulam in the final.
Earlier, the Turtle Divers did it the hard way with a 17-16 win over the Clarence Coast Cutters in a semi-final that went to extra time.
They will now shift their focus to the NSW knockout carnival at Raymond Terrace in a fortnight.
Thirteen teams took part over two days of competition in Lismore.
Byron Bay-based team Arakwal had plenty of star power with Newcastle Knights halfback Tyrone Roberts in the side.
They were beaten by Tabulam in the second round on Saturday.