New Holland Agriculture Cup: Narromine Gorillas expect 'massive challenge' from Parkes Boars

RIGHT ON TOP: George Hancock and the Narromine Gorillas have taken all before them this year. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
RIGHT ON TOP: George Hancock and the Narromine Gorillas have taken all before them this year. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

The Narromine Gorillas have their target set much higher than a New Holland Agriculture Cup major semi-final but reaching that stage is still a proud achievement for the club.

For most in the central west rugby fraternity, Narromine victories have become almost a constant.

The Gorillas finished the regular season as the undefeated minor premiers and play host to the Parkes Boars on Saturday for the right to host the grand final.

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And while almost everyone in the game expects the Gorillas to win through, the players and those involved with the club themselves aren’t taking anything for granted.

“Since 2016 there’s really been a focus on rebuilding the club culture and participation,” Gorillas winger Billy Browning said.

“And now, based on our numbers and on our performances it’s all paying off.”

During the 2016 Blowes Clothing Cup season the Gorillas struggled to field a side at times and even forfeited matches on the way to finished with the wooden spoon.

Things have only moved in an upward direction since then and after winning the Graincorp Cup northern division title last year, the Gorillas have dominated the New Holland Agriculture Cup.

The Gorillas beat opponents by more than 10 on all but two occasions during the regular season and are now just one win away from hosting the grand final.

“It would definitely be reward for a lot of the playing group and the committee,” Browning said.

“Especially for some of the old heads who have been there through the worst of times. Craig Campbell and Mick Harris, it’s amazing now and it’s full credit to blokes like them and it’s also promising for the next generation. Hopefully they’ve got a club they want to be a part of.”

While the club is incredibly proud of where it has come from and the stunning results of the past two years, no one is taking the Boars lightly this weekend.

Parkes have tested the Gorillas more than any other side but they also have a closer bond with the Narromine men than most others, having taken part in the club’s prestigious Beat The Breakdown round this year.

“We love playing them. I don’t know what it is but they’re a great bunch of bloke and what happens on the field always just stays on the field,” Browning said.

“We’re definitely glad it’s at our ground. They really pushed us last time over there so we expect a massive challenge.”

The Tim Allworth-captained Gorillas have proven themselves up to every challenge which has come their way this season.

Browning confessed the side has slackened off slightly since claiming the minor premiership but it adamant the Gorillas have been saving themselves for finals.

“We just want to put in a complete 80 minute performance,” he said of Saturday.

“We don’t think we’ve quite done that yet and we’ve set that as the challenge for ourselves.”

Kick-off is 3.15pm.

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