WHEN Friana Kwevira won Vanuatu's first Commonwealth Games medal on the Gold Coast in April this year, she described it as one of the most incredible moments of her life.
The feeling, pride and emotion is exactly what Port Macquarie’s Dave Bradley felt when Australia won the 2018 Oztag World Cup at Coffs Harbour on Sunday.
In his first competition as national coach, Bradley and the Australians emerged with a 7-3 win over New Zealand in the final.
It capped off an undefeated campaign, but the enormity of the task was not lost on him.
“It is outstanding, it’s like Vanuatu winning a gold medal at the Olympics,” he said.
Port Macquarie lived up to its reputation as an emerging tag stronghold with five players in the World Cup winning side currently playing in the Hastings competition.
Greg Gleeson, Brad DeGenaars, Greg Smith, Steve van Gemert and Anthony Murphy all pulled on the green and gold.
Shaun Magnus joined Bradley as manager on the sidelines.
They all played their part in the success and it’s the reason why it was such a special occasion because there may not be too many more tomorrow’s.
"Port Macquarie has got such a great reputation in tag so for me and the Port Macquarie guys it’s almost like the final chapter,” Bradley said.
"We’ve won national and state titles, we’ve won State of Origins and this is only something that comes around every three or four years.
“I’m absolutely thrilled; for me it’s a once in a lifetime chance to be a part of.”
Bradley’s ability to keep composed in a pressure situation paid dividends when Australia trailed 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining in the final.
At the time, the coach contemplated changing the tactics which had been beneficial for the entire tournament.
Things weren’t quite going to plan and their World Cup campaign was slipping away.
“The finger wasn’t quite hovering over the panic button, but we were starting to feel the pressure,” he said.
“We felt we needed to change something, but a minute before that we scored a good try to bring it level and then stuck with them.”
The World Cup win could prove to be Bradley’s parting gift to the game he has spent the last 10 years playing or coaching in.
“It (retirement) has got to be pretty close,” he said.
“I’ve been doing it (coaching) for a while and certainly haven’t got anything left to achieve.
“Doing this takes up a lot of time and it’s not something you do half-hearted especially at this level.”
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