Matt Lewis celebrates after a standout game for Roos in the grand final. Photo: Melissa Adams
On a day where his side showed plenty of guts, no one was braver than Queanbeyan Kangaroos prop Matt Lewis.
Despite badly injuring his hamstring in the warm-up, Lewis battled through 50 painful minutes to inspire his side to a 17-16 grand final win over Queanbeyan Blues.
A key plank of the Kangaroos march to the decider, Lewis still had a big impact against his old side in Sunday's Canberra Raiders Cup decider at Seiffert Oval.
Kangaroos 17 Blues 16
We are the champions ... the victorious Queanbeyan Roos. Photo: Melissa Adams
''That would never happen, there's no way I'd miss a grand final,'' Lewis said. ''They strapped it up for me but it was still no good. It was giving me pain all through the game.
''It was terrible watching most of the second half and extra time, I had my jumper over my head.''
As a result, Lewis didn't watch teammate Jordan Macey slot the match-winning field goal. Macey described Lewis' display as inspirational. ''When he did his hammy we were behind the eight-ball from the start, but he played with a lot of heart,'' Macey said.
Kangaroos coach Aaron Gorrell paid credit to the rest of his forward pack for lifting in Lewis' absence. ''Losing Lewy was pretty disappointing and it's the first time we've won without him this year,'' Gorrell said. ''We just needed other guys to step up, and they did.''
The win ensured their two retirees, hooker Lee Welsh and prop Jeff Donald, farewelled the game on the best possible note.
''I played in the last grand final win against the Blues , but this one was definitely the best,'' Donald said.
''They've put us through the wringers all year so we knew we had to step up.''