JOSH Moncaster can’t decide whether he likes to dance around a ring or dance around the field after the light-footed West Lions winger and amateur boxer punched holes in the Gunnedah defence on Sunday to help earn a grand final berth on Sunday.
The minor premiers were too good for the Bulldogs, applying the blowtorch from the get-go, and reaping the reward of tired defence later in the match by running in 12 tries for a 66-20 win.
It is Moncaster’s first year in senior football and, after a broken knuckle forced him out of the boxing game for 12 months, the welterweight turned his attention back to the Lions where he had played juniors.
The 18-year-old was in everything against Gunnedah, coming off his wing that often he would have almost topped the hit-up count, as well as using his feet to find space and probe the Bulldogs line in countless attacking raids.
For Moncaster, playing on the end of the Lions backline is the realisation of a schoolboys dream.
“I always looked up to Matt Nean (West half) as a footy player when I was younger so it is great to play with him.
“And with Sean Nean and Sam Taylor and the others it is amazing to be out there with them.”
The three of them were in good nick on Sunday and will need to be at their best this weekend, with the Bears’ defence sure to offer more resistance in a grand final.
Taylor’s deft pass was causing a lot of problems for the defence, as was the direct running of fullback Sean Nean, who the Bulldogs couldn’t drag down at times.
For Moncaster, this week’s game made up for the semi-final loss the week before.
“I didn’t feel like I did everything I could for the team against Norths,” Moncaster said. “It was a much better team performance this week.
“I used to play a lot when I was younger and trialled for NSW in the U15s,” Moncaster said.
“I was getting too small for footy a few years ago so got into boxing – until I broke my knuckle.”
He plans on getting back in the ring after the football season ends, and faces some tough decisions.
“I will have to choose whether to stay amateur for a while longer or turn pro,” Moncaster said.
“I will probably have a few amateur fights and see if I still have it first.
“That’s if I get through the training.”