Tigers captain Luke Berkrey put in one of the best grand final performances in recent memory, leading Gundagai to a historic 40-18 victory over the Tumut Blues at McDonald’s Park on Sunday.
The front rower was terrific up front, taking it to the Tumut pack with his renowned physicality, but also showcasing some nouse on the fringes with superb ball playing, having a hand in the game’s first try and setting the platform for a dominant Tigers win.
Berkrey said the Tigers had been building for a performance like this over the course of the season, and he was happy to see it all come together on the grand final stage.
“We were ready, in the back of my head I just knew we had been building for a performance like this all year,” Berkrey said.
“We had worked so hard and to play like that on a day like today (Sunday), just makes me really proud of everyone,” Berkrey said.”
Whilst ecstatic to be named the 2020 John Hill medallist, Berkrey said it was a team effort that made him happiest.
“It is obviously very special, but you don’t play the game for individual awards,” Berkrey said.
“I’ll cut that up into 17 pieces tonight and give it to the boys, someone has to get the award and that was lucky enough to be me, but you don’t play for that, you play for your mates.”
The new Gundagai Tigers coach said he would take some time to soak up the big win before turning his attention to helping the Tigers go back-to-back in 2021.
“I’m obviously really excited for that challenge, but haven’t given it too much thought just yet,” Berkrey said.
“I’ll probably enjoy this one for a while and then go again next year.”
The popular Tiger also thanked the travelling Gundagai fans, who made the day all that more special for the playing group.
“It’s great to have everyone here happy and smiling and especially with the times and with how everything has been. It’s been great to see them out here,” Berkrey said.