Drovers in prelim final
The Deni Drovers live to fight on in finals following a stirring 27-5 win over Wagga Ag in Wagga on Saturday.
The victory sees the defending Southern Inland Rugby Union McMullen Cup champions move to the preliminary final where they’ll face 2017 runner-up Wagga Waratahs.
The Drovers got off to another great start against the Aggies, with two quick tries to first year player Zack Thompson.
Thompson’s second try was the highlight of the half, cutting through Wagga’s defence with a swift move inboard to cross the line.
Holding on to a 10-0 lead, the Drovers were put under heavy pressure for the final 10 minutes of the first half.
But the visitors’ defence was rock solid, keeping the Aggies out of the try area to take the 10-0 lead into the break.
The nerves settled a bit in the second half, with the Aggies putting their first points on the board early to bring the margin to 10-5.
What followed was the signs of a true contender though, with the Drovers scoring through forward Darren Higgins and centre Dylan Osborne, extending their lead to 20-5.
After dominating possession and earning a scrum the win was sealed with five minutes to go, when the ball was worked out wide to five-eighth Dee Feagai, crossing the line and converting his own try to finish 27-5 in front.
Drovers coach Joe Gogarty said it was a solid team performance by his charges.
‘‘It was pleasing that all of our tries came from set piece plays rather than just capitalising on a mistake and just scoring opportune tries,’’ he said.
‘‘At half time after we went away from the game plan a little bit; we talked about making it a tight game and that we needed to have more focus on the pick and drive.
‘‘We needed to get the ball wide and after they scored we managed to just work to the plan to get momentum back.
‘‘It was a real good and solid win over strong opposition and now we need to try and carry our momentum over to another tough game against the Waratahs.’’