Tiger cubs score hard-fought win to reach grand fi­nal

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT - By Gra­hame Whyte

The Co­bram un­der-17s clash with Moama at Ba­rooga Recre­ation Re­serve proved to be an un­ex­pect­edly tough en­counter that had spec­ta­tors on edge all the way to the fi­nal siren.

Tigers’ un­der-17 coach Ja­son Kerr said the team was very ex­cited af­ter Satur­day’s hard­won 47 to 42 vic­tory over Moama.

‘‘They’re re­ally pumped that they are play­ing in a grand fi­nal,’’ Kerr said.

‘‘It was very nerve-wrack­ing at the end but it was good to see them win a game of footy the way we had to.

‘‘We were win­ning all year and against Moama our back was to the wall, fac­ing ad­ver­sity, but we had to fight back and get our­selves into a win­ning po­si­tion and then hang on.

‘‘We prob­a­bly could have done a bit bet­ter job of hang­ing on, but we’re in the grand fi­nal now.’’

Kerr said the team had yet to work that hard to win a game of footy this sea­son.

‘‘That’s what learn­ing to play footy is about — and they will learn from it,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s bet­ter hav­ing that in a se­cond semi-fi­nal and hav­ing a win than in a grand fi­nal.

‘‘There were some good patches in there and they took some very good marks.

‘‘Jack Brooks kick­ing that goal into the breeze was a fan­tas­tic kick — I didn’t see any­one else for the whole day, se­niors in­cluded, kick a goal that good.’’

Ac­knowl­edg­ing the speed ex­hib­ited by Moama, Kerr added that the loss by Moama’s se­niors meant that a cou­ple of good play­ers would be com­ing back into the thirds.

‘‘It should set up for a pretty good grand fi­nal,’’ he said.

And what will the team need to do to get some ex­tra trac­tion at the open­ing whis­tle?

‘‘We got off to a bad start on Satur­day and it’s not of­ten we do that, es­pe­cially against good op­po­si­tion like that,’’ Kerr said.

‘‘And we got off to a bad start kick­ing with the breeze.

‘‘Moama were three goals up in the first quar­ter but to our boys’ credit, we got our­selves back into a re­ally good po­si­tion.

‘‘At three-quar­ter-time we were three goals up and I think we played re­ally well un­til about seven min­utes to go.

‘‘It was great for the boys to fight back but in such a lows­cor­ing game the op­po­si­tion only had to kick a cou­ple of goals and it was any­body’s game.’’

Kerr said train­ing this week would fo­cus on how to do it bet­ter and get more con­trol of the game.

‘‘I think we did a few low­per­cent­age things in the last seven min­utes of that game.

‘‘Moama are a good team and they have won their last two or three pre­mier­ships.

‘‘We just need to re­set again and be ready to go on the big day — the thing is, we’re in there.’’

Pic­tures: Leonie Bourke

Fast: Luca Allen kicks ahead of his op­po­nent.

De­ter­mined: James Raco tack­les his Moama op­po­nent.

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