They refuse to be told they can’t. They don’t listen when doubters tell them “no”. So there was no way the Titans Physical Disabilities Rugby League team were going to let a scorching September day stop them from playing their final game of the season against the Northern United Invitational team at the Lismore Aboriginal Knockout Carnival.
Temperatures were tipping 30 degrees at Oakes Oval in Lismore when the Titans took the field for what the players labelled their “grand final”.
Despite the oppressive conditions, which resulted in a couple of players succumbing to heat stroke, the Titans prevailed to keep their perfect season intact with a quality 28-10 win.
Fresh from his coronation as the Titans PDRL Player of the Year at the Club’s annual awards night, the charismatic Liam Hourigan was again amongst the try-scorers – one of six Titans to get across the line.
Titans PDRL coach Craig Wallace said before the game the players were determined to finish their incredible year on a high note.
“It’s our last game, and the boys are pretty pumped,” Wallace said. “They are treating it like their grand final, and going through undefeated is what they keep telling me.
“Hopefully we can go out and have some fun and get a really good result today.”
Titans CEO Steve Mitchell was among the supporters cheering the PDRL team on, and said the Club was delighted with the performance of the team this season – and the manner in which they had captured the imagination of rugby league fans everywhere with their love of the game.
“We are lucky – we are blessed – by the PDRL guys and the participants,” Mitchell said.
“Just watching what it means to these guys to run up and play and have the opportunity to compete is extraordinary.”
Mitch Gleeson, who has captained his country at PDRL level and is now a key member of the Titans team, explained why the Gold Coast’s efforts in creating a Titans PDRL team meant so much to the players and their families.
“Guys with disabilities have been told no – they can’t do anything,” he said.
“Doctors said ‘no, you can’t do that’. This just shows that you can do it.”
The Titans would like to congratulate all Titans PDRL players, coaches and staff for their efforts and achievements this season.
Special thanks also to the Titans PDRL team’s major sponsors – Condev Cares and the Coghlan Group – whose support of this incredible program has allowed some special people to live their dreams, and inspired even more to do the things that others said they can’t.
Gold Coast Titans PDRL Team 28 (Nick Stothers, Liam Hourigan, Hudson Wicks, Warrajarra “Warrior” Glew, Anno Pitt, Kane Ridgeley tries; Liam Reen 2 goals) d Northern United Invitational 10 at Oakes Oval, Lismore. Crowd: Very happy.