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Wests Tigers Media Manager Wayne Cousins experienced the win over the Cowboys tonight from the Leichhardt Oval hill in pouring rain.

It was the first time he has watched a Wests Tigers game from the hill in eight years of working for this great club. Here is his story


'I have never been more excited to be soaking wet than I was tonight when I stood on the hill at Leichhardt Oval celebrating the Wests Tigers victory over the Cowboys.

There is something mystical about this great rugby league suburban ground. I will declare for the record now that I grew up following the Balmain Tigers. My heroes at the time were Wayne Pearce, Steve Roach and Paul Sironen to name a few. I now get the privilege in my media managers role to work with Sironen and his son, Curtis Sironen a fine young player making his own name.

So what is it about Leichhardt Oval? Tonight I joined our general manager of commercial operations Grant Mayer on the hill. Yes, I left the comfort of the outdoor but undercover media box to venture on to a wet hill. How did it come about? It started with a tweet from Mayer, or GM as he is known, to journalist Brent Read this morning saying he will stand on the hill tonight. It was a bit of a joke but after encouragement, I decided to join GM for the evening

What an experience it was too. Standing there in heavy rain at times, wearing a very warm Wests Tigers hoodie and rain jacket (can recommend them) in the cold elements.

It was great to hear the vocal thoughts of some passionate fans who braved the conditions to stand there in the rain. It was hard to see at times due to umbrellas so thank goodness for the big screen and my extra set of eyes in RLW journalist Matt Logue, who joined us for the brave venture.

At half-time, the fans cheered and gave a standing ovation (you just couldnt sit down on that wet grass) and the Wests Tigers fans around me were confident victory was coming with the boys leading 12-10 at the break.

The second half saw the Wests Tigers jump to an 18-10 lead at one stage and the confidence grew stronger as the rain fell more heavily. The Cowboys hit back to lead 20-18 with 20 minutes to go. There was tension, and umbrellas, all around me.

With the new electronic clock winding down late (how good is the old scoreboard run by Big Bazza), some around me lost hope. Big prop Aaron Woods was held up over the line with two minutes remaining.

Everyone was tense. I say the Members in the grandstand were on the edge of their seats too but I couldnt tell. Then it happened.

The old girl (Leichhardt Oval) produced her spiritual magic again and winger David Nofoaluma, in just his second NRL game, dived midair and planted the ball down in the corner. Everyone went wild. Replays after replays were shown then that lovely green light appeared with the word TRY showing.

Everyone went berserk, high fives all round. Strangers in Wests Tigers colours hugging each other with tears. We led 22-20 and we were home. The last minute saw the Cowboys throw the ball around but to no avail.

The full-time siren went. It was party time. Wests Tigers had won in front of the true believers tonight ater some tough times. We ended a seven game losing streak.

The players came to the hill. I couldnt help myself. I ran down to be near the fence to celebrate and yell Go Wests Tigers. I wanted to shake the hands of our heroes.

Fortunately for me, I got the chance in the dressing room afterwards. Even the media were happy for Wests Tigers after a tough week of headlines. I was soaking wet. But didnt care.

Thank you, Leichhardt Oval. You got the boys over the line. Proud Wests Tigers Member Sarah Bolton calls this historic ground the 8th wonder of the world and was trying to get it trending on Twitter today. Even Captain Robbie Farah has tweeted the '8th wonder' line. Maybe it is the '8th wonder', who knows?

One thing for certain though, it was a wonderful feeling to dance in the rain tonight.
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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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