Gebbie double helps Bowen’s Townsville bag championship

Koiari man Edene Gebbie is aiming to add to his two Hostplus Cup appearances this season.
National nines representative Edene Gebbie has so far made two Hostplus Cup appearances for the Blackhawks this season.
Townsville’s Edene Gebbie scoring a try. – blackhawkspics

PAPUA New Guinea international Edene Gebbie scored a double to help Townsville to a 32-6 win over the visiting Gold Coast to claim this year’s XXXX League Championship at Neil Stewart Oval on Saturday.
His second-half tries helped Townsville, co-coached by Maroons legend Matt Bowen, become the first north team to win the championship, after Brisbane claimed the inaugural title last year for the south-east.
Growing up in Sogeri, in the Central province of Papua New Guinea, Gebbie loved to watch former North Queensland Cowboys and Maroons flyer Bowen in action.
For a young speedster, there was no better idol to have in rugby league.
Fast forward to today and Gebbie is living out a childhood dream, as he learns from the man himself in Townsville’s representative team.
Gebbie was selected for the side in April, when they overcame Mackay and Cairns to take out this year’s XXXX Foley Shield.
The opportunity to learn from one of the game’s greatest fullbacks has been invaluable for Gebbie.
“He’s been really good,” Gebbie said of Bowen.
“As a kid growing up watching him play, I was one of his fans back home. I just loved how he plays, the way he plays… it makes me want to be like him.
“When I met him, he’s such a nice guy. He comes down to our level, especially for the younger guys. He’s a role model to us.
“He tells me to just catch the ball, run, and run fast. That’s what he always tells me. Back yourself and just run. It’s been good for me the way he coaches, the way he talks.”
Gebbie starred at fullback for Townsville in the XXXX Foley Shield and in the side’s XXXX League Championship semifinal victory against Rockhampton last month.
Gebbie only arrived in Townsville at the end of last year, after he signed with the Blackhawks following a rollercoaster few years.
The 27-year-old former SP Hunter and Wynnum Manly Seagull had a taste of National Rugby League systems with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers.
But he also experienced some disruption due to the Coronavirus.
Since arriving in Townsville, however, Gebbie has been slowly re-gaining his best football, playing with Centrals ASA Tigers in the local A-grade competition, earning selection with the representative team, and making a return to the Hostplus Cup with the Townsville Blackhawks earlier this month.
He scored a try in that outing and while he admits he has been a “bit upset” with his form, he knows Townsville is the right place for him.
“It’s been good here, especially around the boys,” Gebbie said.
“It felt so good to get back (in Hostplus Cup).
“I missed it for like a year or two years so it was good to be back, playing for the Blackhawks.
“Normally, I feel home sick but moving up here, I don’t feel home sick anymore.
“It’s because of the playing group, the coaching staff, the people in the office.
“Everyone in and around the club just makes me feel at home.”
As well as getting more time in the Hostplus Cup before the season is over, Gebbie also has his sights set on a World Cup call-up for the PNG Kumuls.

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