Tyson Garnham’s clean sweep

Tyson Garnham shows no fear for Western Crusaders during this year’s Vic Bowl triumph. (Shawn Smits)

Good things come to those who wait.

In the case of Tyson Garnham, it was a long wait, but the Western Crusaders star finally got to feel the elation of a Vic Bowl triumph.

Garnham had a season clean sweep, scooping a premiership with the Crusaders, taking out the Vic Bowl MVP and being recognised as the league’s MVP.

It was the premiership that Garnham will treasure the most because of the heartache it took to finally get there.

Last year, Garnham had to watch most of the heartbreaking Vic Bowl loss to Monash Warriors from a hospital bed after breaking his collarbone in the early exchanges.

The previous time the Crusaders featured on Gridiron Victoria’s biggest day back in 2007, Garnham had to sit out with a dislocated ankle and missed out on that premiership glory.

Garnham was not even a certain starter for this year’s Vic Bowl after rolling an ankle in the semi-final, but the 28-year-old pulled through and will have memories that will last a lifetime.

“The goal was to win the grand final, not to win awards along the way,” he said.

“The reaction [to the grand final MVP] was like, whatever, really, I was just happy to finally win the grand final.

“I’ve been a little bit cursed when it comes to the Vic Bowl, so I was pretty emotional by the end of the game.”

Garnham’s offensive punch is so important for the Western Crusaders.

He is damaging both as a running back and a wide receiver, routinely scoring touchdowns in the air and on the ground, exploiting the opposition’s main weakness.

Talk to Crusaders insiders and they believe last year’s close Vic Bowl loss to Monash might have gone the other way had Garnham been available for the full game, but the pain of that defeat dissipated when the Crusaders rolled over Melbourne University Royals 30-9 in Vic Bowl XXXIII.

It was only after the celebration died down that Garnham realised how close he was to missing out on this year’s premiership.

“Now the celebrations are over, my ankle actually hurts, so I need to go and get it scanned,” Garnham said.

“We’ll get the scans and take it from there.”

Garnham was the centrepiece on attack for the Crusaders offence, the best offensive line in the league. Plays were drawn up for his benefit and he just executed better than everyone else.

“If I could put why I got the MVP award, it’s because I scored two to three touchdowns per game,” Garnham said.

“It’s hard to take all the credit because you do need everyone to pull their weight to score a touchdown.

“I do get more opportunities to score and touch the ball than some of the other players, so that always helps.

“If you get fed the ball on offence a lot, it’s quite easy to stand out.

“If you gave the ball to someone else all game, they would potentially get it as well, so I’m just fortunate the team trusts my ability and they give me a lot of the ball.”

Garnham believes this is just the start for the Crusaders. Now he has tasted the ultimate success, he wants the Crusaders to do it all again next season.