From Forbes faller to Magpies’ maestro: Burke laps up a second crown

BROTHERLY LOVE: Mitch and Jaiden Burke with the Group 11 premiership trophy. Photo: NICK McGRATH
BROTHERLY LOVE: Mitch and Jaiden Burke with the Group 11 premiership trophy. Photo: NICK McGRATH

Twelve months ago the closest Mitch Burke was to a premiership was laying flat in the mud at Endeavour Oval as the Platypi celebrated the 2017 Blowes Clothing Cup victory.

That day the Forbes faller was born.

But on Sunday, Burke managed to keep his feet among a sea of Magpies fans as the swarm celebrated another Forbes premiership success story – this time one the young black and white pivot had his finger prints all over.

Burke and halves partner Farren Lamb showed maturity beyond their collective years – Burke is 21 and Lamb is just 19 – to steer the Magpies to a memorable 23-22 win over Dubbo CYMS, an outfit one win off lifting both back-to-back Group 11 crowns and the famed Clayton Cup.

Lamb took the spoils after he kicked the winning field goal but Burke was terrific in his second premiership win in three years.

“I thought I’d wrap around the back and if they pushed on Farren we’d have the numbers,” Burke said looking back at the match-winning play from his halves partner.

“But he knocked it over … he nailed it too, he’s been a really good goal-kicker all season and and nailed the field goal.

“You can’t write it much better than that.”

You can, though.

What about winning one with your brother?

“It’s a dead-set dream, I’m telling you,” Mitch’s brother Jaiden joked after full-time.

The pair spoke about playing together for the first time in a grand final in the lead-up to Sunday’s game.

“It went so quick. It’s all a blur,” Jaiden added.

“Gracey said whoever wants it in the end will get the trophy and I had no doubt we were going to get it done.”

Jaiden’s fellow dummy-half, Hayden Bolam came up with a game-changing moment when he plucked a Bayden Searle kick out of thin air and raced nearly 60 metres to score a ripper of a grand final try.

It’s those little moments that helped lift the Magpies.

“That’s a grand final, isn’t it,” Mitch said.

“Every second was why we got the result,” Jaiden was quick to add.

“We got it done for Camo. He’s put his heart and soul into the team and I can’t be more thankful for being part of the team.”