ROBINVALE Storm have celebrated a historic first Sunraysia Rugby League premiership, dedicating the emotional win to the memory of a former teammate who tragically died playing for the club.
Spurred on by a vocal band of several hundred supporters who made the trip to Wentworth, the side was never headed once they crossed twice within three minutes to open the scoring in the 20-6 win over Mildura Warriors.
It was the fourth time the club had reached the SRL grand final, but the first grand final attempt under the Storm name.
But after the game’s euphoric ground celebration, thoughts immediately turned to the late Steve Hingano, who died during a match at Nichols Point against Dareton in 2009.
The 36-year-old Hingano – then playing for Robinvale Sea Eagles – collapsed without any physical contact just before half-time and paramedics were unable to revive him.
Storm playing coach Alefosio Ale paid tribute to a team player who had not been forgotten.
“Steve has been one of our inspirations for rugby league, especially for the past five or six years and has been there for all of us,” he said.
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