Warriors go for the knockout
IT was a welcome return to the Northern Rivers for Ant Cowan at the weekend.
Cowan, 25, starred for the Bundjalung Baygal Warriors when they took out the Aboriginal Knockout Carnival at Crozier Field Lismore.
The Warriors ran out 52-22 winners over the Cubawee Connections team with Cowan bagging two tries in the final.
He was also named player of the carnival as the Warriors walked away with $6000 prize money.
"I've come from Kempsey to play in this and looks like I picked the right time to do it," Cowan said.
"The whole weekend was really tough and there were no easy games.
"I'm a Bundjalung boy with family all around this area and they asked me to play."
It is the second time Cowan has played in the knockout with plenty of his family based in Coraki and Cabbage Tree Island.
His second try in the final was something which had to be seen to be believed.
It involved two individual chip and chase kicks and a regather over the tryline to score.
The grounding looked suspicious but there was no denying the talented halfback.
"I definitely grounded it, I had to put it on the toe otherwise I wouldn't of got there," Cowan said.
"Everyone brings their best football to these knockouts and we were pretty fit and structured too."
The Warriors are a Casino-based team with centre Chris King and prop Dave Fernando among the try-scorers in the final.
Both teams had nothing left in the tank after 60 minute semi-finals and an 80 minute final.
Cubawee five-eighth Willie Hammond kicked a field goal in golden point extra-time against Muli Muli in a 17-16 semi-final thriller.
Centre Jayden Jacky, prop Tyson Binge and Hammond were standouts for the Lismore-based Cubawee side.
The Warriors beat a spirited Cabbage Tree Island 30-10 in their semi-final.