Central North Rugby: Narrabri upset Moree in first elimination final

ATONEMENT: The Blue Boars have got revenge for a May loss to Moree - and them some - by beating them in the elimination final on Saturday. Photo: Sophie Harris
ATONEMENT: The Blue Boars have got revenge for a May loss to Moree - and them some - by beating them in the elimination final on Saturday. Photo: Sophie Harris

Assume nothing in finals. Especially when it’s Moree and Narrabri.

The Blue Boars proved that again at Weebolla Oval on Saturday as they defied season logic to upset arch rivals Moree 22-18 and keep their premiership hopes alive.

It was another titanic and brutal battle between the two sides, the Blue Boars only hitting the front with just over seven minutes to go.

Wade Maloney was the try hero after a brilliant burst from outside centre Jacob Booby to get the Blue Boars in behind the Bulls defence.

Will Morley was though unable to add the extras leaving it a four point game.

The talented youngster had a tough day with the boot, and hooked a penalty out in front that would have put the Blue Boars a converted try in front with just over two minutes to go.

The Bulls made one shot in the final seconds but the ball came loose as they looked to try and create some room outwide.

It in some ways summed up their day, with ball security and illdiscipline hurting them.

They lost four players to the bin over the course of a match they led the majority of.

The Blue Boars had the first chance at points but were unsuccessful.

The Bulls went virtually straight up the other end and earned a penalty, and after turning down the initial penalty, Ben Legg put them ahead 3-nil.

Morley levelled the scores a few minutes later.

After exerting sustained pressure on the Blue Boars line, the Bulls reclaimed the lead as the clocked ticked down to 19 minutes remaining through Maciu Latubua, the prop squeezing through the Blue Boars defence.

In a double blow the Blue Boars also lost Morley to the bin, but they muscled up well and kept the Bulls scoreless.

The home side extended their lead with just over seven minutes to go, winger Josh Walker flying through on a short side play from a scrum about 10m out.

The Blue Boars though received a late boost with Daniel Kahl crossing right on half-time to close the margin to five at the break.

The Bulls also lost Latubua for 10, leaving them with 13 for the first seven minutes of the second half after Sam Callow had been binned only a few minutes earlier.

The Blue Boars’ numbers advantage was cut back to one early in the second half with Matt McDonell suffering the same fate as the Bulls pair, Legg converting the penalty to push the Bulls out eight clear.

The momentum was starting to shift towards the Blue Boars and with 25 to go, five-eighth Jydon Hill slipped his way through. Morley added the extras to close within a point and set up a thrilling finish.

They had a couple of chances after to hit the front, but were unable to take them until Booby ignited the match-winning play.