Pat's hooker Benjamin John is a deserved Dave Scott medal winner
By ALEXANDER GRANT
RARELY has a decision for a man-of-the-match in a grand final looked like such an easy choice.
St Pat’s hooker Benjamin John was awarded the Dave Scott Medal for best on ground in Sunday’s Group 10 premier league grand final win over the Cowra Magpies for his hat-trick of tries. It was a display that typified everything about his top-shelf game.
Not only did John score three tries, but his dummy half running was as dangerous as ever, his work rate in defence was very commendable and he made several line breaks in the second half that led to team-mate Garry Reilly slotting home two late penalty goals.
John said it was great having taken to the big stage previously as it helped him keep a cool head throughout Sunday’s decider.
“It feels good ... I was really pumped up this game. I’ve played in two grand finals already, so having that experience was good. It great playing alongside these boys today, without their work none of this could have happened,” he said.
John played down his three-try effort, instead the rake tried to deflect the praise onto his team-mates.
“They were really tough but ... I just took them as they come,” he said.
“These boys have been awesome this year. I’d give a big thanks to Mick [Armstrong, captain] for his leadership, all the boys who put in the big runs and to those front rowers as well who helped lift me up.”
Then on Sunday at Sid Kallas Oval, early on it looked like the Magpies were going to once again suffocate John’s attempted runs from the ruck.
However, after Pat’s got themselves on the board to level with Cowra at 4-all, John became more involved in the play.
John’s first try saw a big hole open up just left of the posts and he caught Cowra asleep on their own line just before half-time.
Numbers two and three were almost perfect copies of that opening try, with John sitting less than 10 metres from the Cowra line in front of the posts then his selling a dummy to the Magpies defence.
There was a injury scare in the early weeks of the finals for John, and he was nursing a rib injury in the grand final.
Still, his performance on Sunday as the Saints posted a 34-12 win showed that he was more than ready to lead his team from the front.
The blue and whites hooker saved his tries for when they mattered most this season – his only other multiple-try effort coming in the latest Bathurst derby where he scored a double against Panthers.