George back on the Finals track
As an academy player with Leeds Rhinos today’s Cougar full-back ace George Rayner became accustomed to success.
He played in three Academy Grand Finals for the Headingley Carnegie Stadium, twice against Wigan and once against St Helens.
And each time he ended up on the winning side!
Since then he’s found Final appearances hard to come by. That was until this week when he was part of the Keighley Cougars squad preparing for Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One Grand Final against Oldham at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium (Kick off 3.05pm).
Explained George: “When I was at Leeds the then coach Graham Murray wanted me to gain some first-team experience so he asked me to spend some time on loan at Hunslet Hawks.
“I didn’t mind but when Graham left the club to go back to Australia I wasn’t included in the Rhinos’ plans for the future so I signed on permanently for the Hawks.
“Then I played at York City Knights and Sheffield Eagles before signing for a second time with the Hawks”.
It was from the South Leeds Stadium that he moved up to Cougar Park at the start of the 2008 season”
And he hasn’t regretted the switch up the Aire Valley.
“I’m enjoying my time with the Cougars. The squad are a good bunch of lads and I’m really enjoying working with Head Coach Barry Eaton”.
Now George is anticipating the Grand Final against Oldham. He added: “Oldham’s results in the play-offs have been impressive.
“Their form during the league season wasn’t so good but they’ve quite clearly come together well.
“We’ve beaten them twice in the league season and they were both close games, especially the one we played at Boundary Park
“Playing in this Grand Final is massive for me.
“Looking over the whole season I’ve been happy with my form because I’ve been much more consistent this year. Some games have been better than others but I’ve been happy with they way it’s gone during the year.
“Oldham are going to be tough to beat but at least they play an open style of Rugby so it’ll make for an interesting for Final
“Our squad is confident in its ability so we’re going into the game determined to do well.”