Craig “Squirter” Leach to bring up 400 NT A-Grade games

Fri, Feb 18, 2022, 2:48 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Craig “Squirter” Leach brings up 400 A-Grade games for Palmerston Crocs. Photo: NT Rugby
Craig “Squirter” Leach brings up 400 A-Grade games for Palmerston Crocs. Photo: NT Rugby

Craig “Squirter” Leach is your typical Rugby Union character.

A firefighter and mechanic by trade, the 55-year-old has been involved with the Palmerston Crocs since 1985, originally starting in Northern Territory C-Grade.

He would quickly raise up the ranks, eventually helping the Crocs to three A-Grade premierships, kicking the winning penalty in Palmerston’s 1st A Grade Grand Final win in 1990/91,

"Squirter" also played 55 games for the Northern Territory, helping them to historic wins over Scotland and Wales in 1992 winning NT Player of the Year in 1996 as well as an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

“He means a very great deal to this club,” Palmerston Crocs president Mick Crossman said.

“He’s played more games for the club than anyone in history, he’s a previous NT captain and played in those sides that beat Scotland and Wales.

“He lives large in this club’s history but also in the history of NT Rugby… ’Squirter’ is a quintessential Rugby character.”

Leach has been always there to help the club, consistently filling in at A-Grade level when his busy schedule allows him to, typifying all the great aspects of club rugby.

“When I came to the club in 2016, ‘Squirter’ was still playing B Grade regularly and each season if we’ve been in need, he’s always been willing to put the boots on,” Crossman explained.

“He’s a busy man but always helps out when the club is in need and that’s a credit to the man.”

On Saturday, he will run out for his 400th A Grade game against the Uni Pirates at NTRU Rugby Park from the bench, although his true number of games for the club across all the Grades is well higher than that.

Starting his life out in the backs, "Squirter" will likely start in the backrow before making the switch to the backline, with his ever-reliable touch and ball skills still on display.

Ahead of Saturday's games, there will be a minute of silence to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin.