YOU have good days and bad days and sometimes a bit of both.
Farrer High School experienced both sides of the coin on Wednesday when its two state final hopefuls took to the rugby league field in Tamworth and Sydney.
While the First XIII won its University Shield quarter final clash with Eagle Vale in Sydney, there was no such luck for the under 14s in the Buckley Shield semi-final at Farrer’s Simpson Oval.
While the younger kids were hitting the showers the school’s top side was warming up.
It led Eagle Vale 22-12 at halftime but needed some late tries to win 38-28 after falling behind.
“They got back to lead 28-24 and we piled some points on at the end,” coach Damian Kenniff said.
“One positive was we found a way to win after I had a bad feeling in my stomach halfway through the second half.”
The coach said it was a “scrappy” performance and the state semi-final against another bush school, Yanco Agricultural, at Farrer on Tuesday will be a huge test.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do before Tuesday,” Kenniff said.
He said Tremayne Sanbrook was strong, Logan Harris solid, Matt Brady filled in well in the halves in the absence of the injured Jacob Booby and Kyle Avery scored an important try and was also good throughout.
The under 14s started well against Kiama High with prop Jack Inder finishing the first try of the game from a grubber kick.
Kiama hit back to level at 6-all before Farrer hooker Marcus Hayne made the most of some goal-line pressure to scoot over.
Jack Richards then landed his second conversion.
At 12-6 Farrer could have taken a good lead into the break but despite a number of repeat sets inside the Kiama half the green and golds failed to add to the lead.
Eventually the pressure was released when Kiama took an intercept on its own line and ran the length of the field to score.
Instead of a 10 or 12-point lead Farrer had to settle for a 12-all score line at halftime.
The second half was a complete turnaround with Kiama the one applying most of the pressure, but also struggling to crack the defence.
The only try of the half finally came from a fumbled kick out wide and Kiama led 16-12 with not long to play.
After Farrer kicked out on the full from a line drop-out Kiama could have extended its lead to six with a penalty goal, but the kicker chose to tap the ball forward off the kicking tee and regather it to touch down.
Unfortunately for him such a move is not allowed and Farrer had a reprieve.
With the clock ticking down the home side tried to find a try to either win it or send it to extra time, but it didn’t come and it finished 16-12.
“We made too many mistakes,” Farrer coach Clint Gallagher said.
“We didn’t get our structures right.
“We’ve been training really well but we didn’t put that training onto the paddock today.
“I thought we panicked and that led to some spilt ball.”
Kiama’s halves controlled the game well and were able to provide good service to some well-angled runners.
Otherwise there wasn’t a lot between the sides and it proved to be a good semi-final.
“It was a good contest between two good sides,” Gallagher said.
“In the end they got the win and good luck to them in the final.
“Harrison Buhler was really good for us, James Fisk was good and Hayden Loughrey played very well.
“They all tried hard.
“I can’t criticise any of them for their effort.”
Making the last four and only going down by a try was Farrer’s best result since winning the state title in 2008.