I may not know much about footy, but I know a lot about survival and triumph in the face of adversity. I know the taste of rejection and loss, and having to struggle every step of the way. And I know how sweet it is to come back triumphant despite the odds.
Seeing the Boomerangs play on Sunday brought to mind such stories of rebellion, resistance and rebuttal. Watching them was an emotive experience, even for someone who’d rather go to the ballet than watch rugby.
Obviously, it was their skill, defiance and sheer testosterone that helped the team secure three Group 19 premierships in their dream grand final day at Burt Jovanovich Oval.
The dream run began with the under 18s’ nail-biting 28-18 win against Tingha Tigers. Reserve grade followed, securing their fifth consecutive premiership with a 42-6 win over Narwon Eels. A grade topped off the history-making day with a 36-28 win against Glen Innes Magpies.
While the numbers are great unto themselves, there’s more to the heroic Boomerangs than just the games and the scores.
These skilled indigenous footballers carry with them the attitude that encompasses the essence of what locals call “Moree madness”.
Game plans seem to go out the window with this unpredictable team that plays with flair and flamboyance; with passion and breathtaking skill that can be discerned even by someone who doesn’t understand the game.
Words like sportsmanship are great to bandy about, but it’s not just the sport that this bush team is interested in. Rangs players are not just in it for the game, they’re also in it for Moree and all that it means to live and work in this unique bush town.
Part-time footballers, they spend the rest of their days working on farms, leading the same ordinary lives as the fans they represent. And when they hit the field, they play for the crowd who is there to support them with stalls, banners, balloons.
The fans also have a vested interest in the game that is as much about sport as it is about the representation of their town in the sport.
And the Rangs have had just as many ups and downs as Moree. They’ve been to purgatory and have come back all the stronger for it. They're not called the Boomerangs for nothing!
Mary Sinanidis is the NW NSW Group Editor for Fairfax Media.