NARRABRI number eight Todd Farrer took double delight in the Blue Boars’ CNRU win over Pirates on Saturday.
On top of a try-double, it was Farrer’s first win over Pirates in Tamworth.
The Blue Boars hadn’t beaten Pirates at their Ken Chillingworth Oval home for a long time before they did in the first round, however Farrer was injured at the time and didn’t play that day.
Sweetening Saturday’s 31-11 win even more was that it earned the Blue Boars a spot in the grand final.
They haven’t been there since 2009 and Farrer is one of six of the current crop who were involved in that.
Luke Findley, Matt Trindall, Dave Boyle, Michael Cain and Lachlan Cameron were also part of that side.
“We’ve been close a few times,” Farrer said.
“We’ve had good teams but we haven’t had a solid 25.”
This year they have. They’ve got strength right across the 15 and good back-up off the bench.
There was a sense heading into the finals that they were building.
Saturday confirmed that.
“Since the last time Pirates beat us we got together and changed the way we’ve been training and approaching games,” Farrer said.
He said they recognised they’ve got the skill and players to do it, it’s more of a psychological thing.
“We’re playing just how we want to play,” he said.
“We haven’t been playing teams on their strengths.”
It’s been more about playing to their strengths.
The first half an hour on Saturday set it up for them. Farrer’s first try was on the tail of that.
It came from a scrum. He picked it up at the back and found a bit of a weak link in Pirates’ defence.
“We got to half-time and, even though it was pretty close, we felt we had the bat on them,” Farrer said.
“We just had to continue with what we’ve been training for and we did.”
“We were a bit ill-disciplined in the first half.
“That was a bit worrying but we fixed that.”
They played the territory game well.
“Finals football is all about field position and, when you’ve got the ball, keeping it and starving them of the ball,” he said.
It’s what Pirates have been good at.
The Blue Boars didn’t really allow them to do that and, when Brenton Cochrane pulled off a freakish intercept and raced away to score midway through the second half, Farrer started to feel they were home.
“The intercept try put us away,” he said.
“I knew then if we stuck to our structure we’d win it.”
Losing skipper Matt Schwager to the bin was a bit of a hiccup.
Farrer conceded he was a bit worried.
“But we all got together as a forward pack,” he said.
“We spoke about keeping it in the forwards.
“We knew we had to ride that 10 minutes out.”
He thought they outmuscled Pirates in the forwards, something they’ll be looking to repeat against Moree.
“We’re confident about going up there,” Farrer said.