GREATER Northern Tigers are hoping the senior side can emulate its Under 16 and 18 sides and make the June 21 NSW Country Championship Finals at Scully Park.
The senior Tigers play North Coast at Morrie Breen Oval this Saturday in a Tier 2 semi-final.
Yesterday the GN Tiger Under 16 and 18 sides qualified for their NSW Country Championship Finals with victories over East Coast Dolphins in Wollongong, the Gary Jones-coached 16s scoring a 28-6 win over East Coast Dolphins and the Matt Parsons-coached 18s sneaking a 16-14 victory with a late converted try to Zac Faulkner.
The two sides had qualified for yesterday’s semi-finals with wins over Southern Stingrays on Saturday.
Parsons was delighted with his side.
“Zac scored with 90 seconds to go and Ryan Holman converted,” Parsons said.
“We’d trailed much of the first half too.
“We didn’t play near as well as we did the day before but it was pretty hard getting them up for today’s game.”
Trailing 4-nil most of yesterday’s first half, Callum Hayne scored just before the break to equalise at 4-all.
GN scored two early tries in the second half to lead 12-4 but then trailed 16-12 as the Dolphins hit back.
Once more the Tigers surged to earn a final berth at Scully Park.
Faulkner, Muswellbrook second-rower Ryan Holman and Uralla centre Jordan Press were outstanding.
The Tiger 18s began their weekend with a dominant display and 32-4 win over Southern Stingrays on Saturday morning.
Parsons was delighted.
“We were pretty good but can still improve a fair bit too,” the former NRL prop said.
“Defensively we were really good but we turned over a bit of ball and made some errors with a few bad options.
“But we defended those mistakes well.”
He thought the Tiger pack was strong, physically, with Zac Faulkner leading the way.
Hooker Corey Manicaros was another to shine while the outside backs also earned a big wrap from Parsons.
“We’re just hoping the senior side can now win their semi final this week and have all three sides at Scully,” Parsons said.