Lions lose match and momentum heading into semifinals

WEST Lions finals preparation took a blow at the hands of a Wee Waa outfit keen to finish a poor season on a high note.

Narrabri prop Sam Demamiel crashes the ball up into the Oxley Diggers defence on Saturday. Photo:  Gareth Gardner 230814GGG01

Narrabri prop Sam Demamiel crashes the ball up into the Oxley Diggers defence on Saturday. Photo: Gareth Gardner 230814GGG01

The Panthers jumped out to a lead in the second half and held on to win 48-40 in a high scoring affair.

Although the Lions had a few players out, it was far from ideal as the side prepares for a minor semifinal against Narrabri next Sunday.

While West were not good enough, Narrabri had an easy 66-26 run against Oxley Diggers at Scully Park on Saturday.

Blues coach John Rumsby was hugely disappointed with the performance from his side just a week out from this Sunday’s knockout minor semifinal against West Lions at Scully Park.

“It was an ugly game of football,” Rumsby said.

“They were disgraceful, the refereeing was disgraceful and we were disgraceful. We should never have allowed them to score six points let alone 26.

“When we played football we were good but we had many dropped passes, threw the ball away and we’re not fit enough to defend that, not in good enough condition.”

Rumsby was hoping to use the game as full “dress rehearsal” for this Sunday’s minor semi.

In the end he was hoping to escape without any injuries.

Prop Brandon Tago, who scored three tries, was rested after suffering a hamstring twinge.

“When he goes he can do things other people cannot,” Rumsby said of the big number eight.

He laughed derisively when told Oxley Diggers prop Athol Munro, who also scored three tries, was awarded the three points in the NDL group 4 Player of the Year Award.

“Don’t see that very often in a game where your side gets beaten by 40 points,” Rumsby said.

North Tamworth have already complained about the best and fairest points award.

Munro deserved some points at least, he almost made it four tries but was denied when he just failed to reach a chip and chase.

Once again coach Jamie Trindall, halfback Will Jerrard and Scott Berry starred for Diggers with Munro and if they are to continue next season then that quartet will be the core.

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