Courageous winger plays through pain of broken leg in GF
RUGBY LEAGUE: Warwick Cowboys winger Mitch Watson scored one try with a broken leg in one of the most heroic efforts in the 34 seasons his club has played in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition.
It was one of three tries he scored on the day.
In the first 20 minutes of play, Watson scored two tries after fine lead-up work from Coedie Tandy, one from a kick and another from a 20m pass.
The Cowboys were on top in the the first half and went to the break 12-10 up before ultimately going down 24-16 to Valleys in the A-grade grand final.
Watson said he felt his left leg go in the 30th minute of the first half when he stepped off his foot before he was tackled.
He went on to play 50 minutes of footy with a broken leg.
"I was thinking it was broken at the time, it didn't feel like muscle,” he said.
It is his second broken leg but wouldn't stop Watson playing the game he loves.
He has a small fracture in the fibula.
"Chris Costello strapped it up for me at halftime on Sunday,” he said.
"I was pretty well a passenger in the second half but there was no way I was going off.
"It was the last game of the season.”
Spectators could argue Watson made a much greater contribution in the second half than merely being a passenger, as he scored his third try with a broken leg to be the only tryscorer for Warwick.
"It was pretty special to score three tries in a grand final but would have been better to get the win,” he said.
Watson had some work to do to beat the Valleys defence and stretched out across the tryline to press the ball for his third try.
He went to the doctor on Tuesday and a compression bandage was put on the leg.
"They gave me crutches and I have a week off work and go back to the doctor next week,” Watson said.
The greatest problem faced by Watson was stepping.
"I tried to run in a straight line and was in a fair bit of pain,” he said.
"With my third try, I had to step back in to score and it really hurt but by that time the adrenaline had taken over from the pain.”
He already has recovered from a previous broken leg, his right leg, which was injured in the under-16 grade with Collegians.
Despite currently recovering, Watson is keen to play for the Cowboys again next year.
"We didn't win the premiership but made the grand final when a lot of people had written us off,” he said.
"It was good to even make the grand final.
"After the game a lot of the boys were committed to going one better and winning the premiership in 2020.”
When asked if he would be back in training in January, Watson showed his true commitment to the Cowboys by stating he would be back at training a month earlier - in December.
The good news with Watson's leg is that the pain has lessened this week and he is hoping the little break knits quickly.