Webcke and Broncos soak up NRL victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Webcke and Broncos soak up NRL victory

By Daniel Pace 02/10/2006 07:19:24 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Broncos fans can't get enough of Shane Webcke.

The Broncos won their sixth premiership on Sunday night, with a resounding 15-8 victory over Melbourne, but this one carried a bucket load of sentiment because it was Webcke's last NRL match before retirement.

"If every other day for the rest of my life is like this, it'll be all right," he told about 2,000 supporters who gathered at Broncos Leagues Club, at Red Hill in Brisbane's inner-west, on Monday.

Coach Wayne Bennett joked that the public had had enough of the likeable Webcke, but they can expect to see more of him next year as he's accepted an offer to work for the Seven Network.

"I'd like to say Shane has retired and we're all over him now," Bennett, the most successful coach in premiership history, said to fans.

"We're all Webcked out."

The accolades haven't stopped for Webcke, who was mobbed on Monday at Brisbane Airport where the bleary-eyed players were greeted by about 400 fans.

Fellow prop Sam Thaiday carried the premiership trophy into the terminal and couldn't wipe the smile off his face after he was one of eight Broncos named in the Australian squad for the Tri-Nations series starting this month - involving Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Webcke deserves all the praise - as he's been a role model for the game and it was fitting that he joined players such as Mal Meninga and Glenn Lazarus, who hung up their boots following a premiership victory.

At the leagues club, the players thanked the fans for their loyalty in a topsy-turvy year in which they copped a barrage of criticism.

Captain Darren Lockyer told fans the team had a "present" for them before winger Karmichael Hunt brought out the trophy.

Club officials later organised for the players to sign autographs and pose for photos but that was soon stopped after security staff deemed it too dangerous as the crowd surged.

The celebrations will continue well into the week.

A special meet-and-greet with fans will be staged at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday following a city parade and civic reception in Brisbane.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," said Brisbane forward Corey Parker.

"But it's starting to. We're the No.1 team, the premiers, it's amazing."

Broncos season ticket holder Noela Parker, 65, of Wishart in Brisbane, said the 2006 premiership was the best of the six won by the club since 1992.

"The other premierships came within a short amount of time, but it's been a while since the last one (in 2000)," she said.

"It's taken six years to get to where we are now."

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