NSWPRL representative team, Darwin trip 2010

On Saturday the 14th of August 2010, the NSWP representative side assembled at Rydges Hotel Cronulla.  After training and dress shirts were handed out, the squad drove to Shark Park where trainer Bob O'Riordon warmed the players up with a series of stretches and sprints.  Coach Craig Sheridan spoke to the players and methodically explained the main plays to be practised.  Over the next hour and a half, Sheridan drilled the moves and plays which the players worked at.  Beaudie Cullen was named as the team captain.  Assistant Coach Bruce Tape instructed the team on defensive drills which were also practised.  After training, the boys returned to the hotel and went on to JD's for a team dinner.
The following morning the team travelled to Sydney airport where they departed a Jestar flight to Darwin, arriving at 5.30pm .  The squad travelled to the Argus apartments, a brand new apartment block situated on West street in the Darwin CBD.  That night the squad dinned at the tropical restaurant, 'Tim's Seafood restaurant', where crocodile was served as an entree and surf and turf was the main order.
The following morning the squad travelled Darwin's rugby league headquarters, Richardson Park, for an early morning training session.  Head trainer Paul Wallace again displayed his professional training skills with the team, who completed a recovery session in the hotel pool on return.  A further training session was completed in the afternoon, prior to the entire squad enjoying a team dinner at a top Italian restaurant in the heart of Darwin.
The following morning, the team had a short sharp session, prior to attending the 'Air Museum' on the outskirts of Darwin proper, organised by team manager Glenn McDougall.  Coach Sheridan spoke about the importance of the game and introduced the Patron of the NSWPRL, Assistant Commissioner Allan Clarke.  Mr. Clarke gave an inspirational speech to the players including the story of a great war commander and leader 'Hannible'. After the speech, Mr. Clarke presented the game jersey's to the team.  After seeing a documentary of the bombing's that occurred in Darwin in the second world war, the team wandered through the museum and soaked up the atmosphere and appeared ready for the conflict ahead.
The arrived at Richardson oval that afternoon and at the commencement of the game ran head on into a determined and proud Queensland outfit who scored the opening try and led 6 nil after the conversion.  Inspiration running by all of the forward pack led by Pete Butler paved the way for two first half tries to Mitchell West and Liam Watson, who also kicked two goals.
In the second half the team turned the afterburner's on, and ran the Queenslander off their feet with further tries to Corey Kinsella, Beaudie Cullen and Mark Smith to score a 28-16 victory and win back the shield.  Pete Butler was awarded 'Man of the Match' from his team mates, and the victory was sweet for all concerned.  Coach Craig Sheridan proved his dominance as the NSW coach taking his record to 5 out of six wins against arch rivals Queensland.
The following morning the team travelled to 'Berry Springs', a waterhole about a forty minute drive from the city centre.  After being assured that there were no 'Croc's' there, the squad went for a dip in Berry Springs, which was a refreshing feeling in the 33 degree heat.  Berry Springs looked like 'Jurassic Park' dubbed by Nisso, and a few of the players wallowed around in the 'roman bathes' area to tell a few stories with Matthew Lehmann, the tour number one practical joker.  On return to the car park, we were a bit surprised to find a salt water 'Croc' bound and tied in the back of the ranger's utility.  The ranger informed us that the crok had been caught in a trap about a kilometre from where we were swimming. From Berry Springs, we drove to the Litchfield Pub, located in the middle of nowhere, but providing a sensational steak sandwich and a cold beer. From Litchfield we went to back to Richardson Park to watch the Queensland Police defeat the Affiliated States Police side.
The following morning we trained at Richardson Park to shake out the 'cobwebs', returned to the hotel for a swim and a stretch before returning to Richardson park to take on the Affiliated States Police side.  The team came out of the sheds ready for a contest and proved too classy and strong for the Affiliated States team who showed plenty of character and courage.  The final score, NSW 92 Affiliated States 12.
After the game a formal presentation was held at the Northern Territory Rugby League clubhouse prior to the team flying home on a 2am red eye special to Sydney.
The tour was a fantastic success, the players, coaching staff and officials gelled as a unit, and all involved represented the NSW Police Force in an exemplary and professional way.  In 2011, the NSWPRL tour Brisbane and play the Queensland Police as a curtain raiser to the third State of Origin game at Suncorp Stadium.  NSW are back!!

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