SCONE took on board the lessons it learnt about finals football last year, producing “a perfect semi-final game of footy” to beat Walcha on Sunday and book the first berth in the Tier 2 grand final.
That was how co-coach Duncan Pinfold saw the Brumbies’ performance after they turned a 15-nil half-time lead into a 28-13 win.
Last year their lack of finals experience showed as they were run down by Narrabri in the second half of their minor semi-final clash.
It was their first time in the Central North finals, and first final for a lot of the players.
On Sunday, all the elements of what it takes to win finals football were there – they were strong in defence, disciplined and played the territory game well.
Pinfold acknowledged the Rams weren’t at their best, and knows it could have been a tighter tussle had they been, but couldn’t have asked for much more from his side.
“Our boys wanted to win,” he said.
He thought that was a big factor.
“They rattled Walcha and upset Walcha,” he said.
Their discipline was also fantastic.
Pinfold had spoken about that being crucial heading in. Not just their discipline in general but their discipline to their structure.
They were on the back foot early, with the Rams having a lot of the play, Pinfold said he felt they were on top by midway through the first half.
“Not only on the scoreboard but energy,” he said.
That energy flowed through both their attack and defence.
They put a lot of pressure on at the breakdown and, through their defence, “forced a lot of ball out”.
The forwards had a huge impact and really set the platform.
It was another thing he’d spoken about before the game – not sending the ball out to the backs unless they were going forward.
“When we did put it through the hands it worked,” Pinfold said.
“But the piggies did a hell of a lot of hard work and got the metres.”
He thought Sunday was as good a performance as when they beat the Rams at home.
“It was just a dominant 80 minutes,” he said.
There weren’t those 15-20 minute passages where they are strong and dominant, but then drop off.
The Rams will play Tamworth at Walcha this Sunday for a crack at the Brumbies and the title.