Fallon goes out a winner as Mustangs secure NRRRL title
IT HAS been one of the most emotional weeks in the Murwillumbah Mustangs' history.
Mustangs' stalwart Grant Cook died after he received a head knock during last week's Northern River Regional Rugby League preliminary final against Casino Cougars.
The game was stopped at half-time, and the NRRRL decided to allow Murwillumbah passage to the grand final as they led 8-4 at half time.
The Mustangs family took to Ned Byrne Field in force for today's NRRRL decider against Cudgen Hornets, though few judges gave Murwillumbah a chance against the powerhouse.
Murwillumbah's Clancy Fallon, who was part of Hervey Bay Seagulls' minor premiership-winning team in 2015, said he felt "something special was about to happen" before the game.
"I don't know what it was but while we were warming and when we were in the sheds, I just knew something special was going to happen," Fallon said.
"We had no idea how it would go but nobody gave us a chance."
Murwillumbah didn't need luck on its side when every player carried 28-year-old Cook's spirit, and the Mustang produced arguably the most emotionally-driven performance to win 16-14.
While he is newcomer to the squad, Fallon's natural leadership ability was called on at the Mustangs' most vital hour.
He took a number of younger Mustangs under his wing, particularly in the week that followed the late halfback's death.
He said the whole squad lifted to a gear they didn't know they had as they bashed Cudgen out of the contest.
The Mustangs led 14-6 at the break, and held on to win by just two points.
Fallon struggled through tears to explain how he felt.
He, and the wider Mustang family, are understandably devastated at Cook's passing, but had just finished what will be one of the biggest games of their career to win a grand final that means so much more than the silverware they were awarded.
"I can't believe it," Fallon said.
"We've cried together, we've laughed, we've cried again. This week has been terrible but to finish like that..."
Fallon teased retirement leading up to and after last year's Bundaberg Rugby League grand final, but while he ultimately reneged on that decision, the 33-year-old said he was finished.
"After this year with my personal live and everything that's happened on and off the field, I'm happy to say I'm done," Fallon said.
Fallon was famously sent off during last year's BRL grand final, and the forward, who can play prop, second-row and lock, wasn't on the field when the full-time siren sounded this time either.
"I came off with about 10 to go; I did my AC joint," Fallon said.
"It doesn't matter now - we saved the best til last and I'm happily finished."