Relieved captain-coach recalls last time Roosters won title

A relieved Brett Davis makes his victory speech after Nambucca Heads claimed the 1996 Group 2 title in the grand final against Orara Valley which famously went to extra time.
A relieved Brett Davis makes his victory speech after Nambucca Heads claimed the 1996 Group 2 title in the grand final against Orara Valley which famously went to extra time.

'Uncle Brett' and match referee Rick Purton had been involved in a cat-and-mouse chase all year.

With the Roosters all but out on their feet against Orara Valley, Davis made the fateful decision to hold an opponent down in a tackle and that was the final straw for Mr Purton.

"Rick told me I could go for a 10-minute rest in the sin bin," Davis laughed, thinking back to a time when he didn't see the funny side.

"We were totally knackered and needed to do whatever we could to slow down Orara who were finishing strong.

"To give Rick the s---s I walked off as slow as I could.

"At first, I didn't want to see it.

"Finally I looked back from halfway up the pathway to the dressing room and thought straight away we were gone.

"But when I got to the top, the supporters were saying that it wasn't over and we still had time to win.

"So I felt a bit better and started thinking about what we could do to fix the situation."

History shows the game went into extra time and Brett Davis made one of the most fateful, if not greatest coaching calls, in Group 2 history.

He sent out Paul Davis as a replacement.

Earlier in the year, the burly playmaker had saved Nambucca from tumbling to defeat with a 50m individual bust against the Panthers but to most people, his glory days were behind him.

Nobody at that stage could have realised that within a decade he would be 'Sir Paul' and a coaching legend in his own right.

"Paul made the calls to set up that try and in a moment I'll never forget, kicked the goal as well from right on the sideline," Uncle Brett said.

"I'd played for Orara and knew how they felt.

"Matt Donovan was in that side and they had great players like Rod Evans and Brad Hart and the like.

"But we had come through it all and I'll never, ever forget that moment."

Uncle Brett only gets to a handful of games these days but will be at Geoff King Motors Park tomorrow to watch the two sides he's played in grand finals for.

"I've got a couple of nephews with Nambucca and one playing for Coffs so it's hard to say which I'd rather see win.

"Maybe the Roosters, as Bertie Gray has been saying a long time they would make it.

"It's going to be a crackerjack game and I hope they pack the ground."



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