The Kununurra Thunder became the first premiers of the Kimberley Rugby League after winning the grand final match of the association’s inaugural competition season.
Thunder scored three tries in the first half and led 14 to nil at half-time.
That lead was threatened early in the second half when a couple of Thunders errors allowed Ord River Bulls to cross in the corner for a try.
Several more mistakes had Thunder defend multiple sets of six tackles in their own quarter, and at times on the try line, but their defence was strong and steady, pushing back Bull attacks.
The momentum shifted back to Thunder toward the end of the game as they piled on a further three tries before the full-time whistle.
They emerged as premiers with a 28-4 win over Bulls. The lopsided shoreline belied the intensity of the game, with players from both sides constantly putting their bodies on the line in both attack and defence.
Premiership captain Luke McKay praised his team and the Bulls during the after-game awards ceremony, and said all players gave 100 per cent on the night.
Best players were Thunder’s Luke McKay and Bulls’ Tim Hodgson. Kimberley Rugby League members also celebrated their association’s selection as a finalist in the National Rugby League One Community Awards.
The KRL has been shortlisted for the Grassroots Club of the Year accolade, which will be announced in Sydney on September 24.
KRL chairman Matt Young said making the national initiative’s finals was unprecedented for such a young club.