The end scoreline was emphatic but it was two quarters in particular that made the difference for the New England Nomads against the Tamworth Kangaroos.
In an elimination final at Bellevue Oval on a cold Saturday afternoon where rain threatened all day but held off for the duration of the match, New England’s second and fourth quarters handed the home side a 22.12 (144) to 9.5 (59) victory.
The Nomads were in front by 26 at quarter time before kicking seven goals – and zero behinds – to Tamworth’s one goal in the second to move out to a daunting 61-point lead at the main break.
The Roos hit back in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to 40 points before a spray from coach James Treweeke reawakened the New England machine.
Led by Dave Richards – who kicked “five or six” goals for the quarter – the Nomads shut out the Roos and kicked away to a comprehensive win.
“Tamworth showed up. They had a pretty good side and played well,” Treweeke said.
“I had to give the boys a bit of a bollocking at three quarter time – stir them up a bit – but we came through in the end and hopefully we can get through to the grand final.”
As for New England’s dominant quarters, Treweeke said everything just seemed to click at once.
“We do have those quarters where we can just get a roll on and play attacking footy but it can also be a coach killer too. We can get on those rolls and the other team hits back because we’re trying to attack too much,” Treweeke said.
Treweeke added: “ There was a bit of individual brilliance as well, like Modra [Dave Richards] who can just get on a roll.
“He’s a finals player. One quarter a game he’ll just turn it on, like he did today, and kick five or six. Right when we needed it too because Tamworth were coming back hard.”
Along with Richards, Treweeke named Harry Wakefield and Jeremy Bourchier amongst New England’s best.
“Harry Wakefield off the half-back had about 40 kicks. He kills it every game,” Treweeke said.
“Jeremy Bourchier played a really good game which he’s done all year for us.
“But all around the park we had good contributors which helps.”
The loss ends the Kangaroos’ season.
Brad Rees grabbed two goals and was named Tamworth’s best while the evergreen Dan Overeem kicked six goals.
The Nomads will now face Gunnedah next week for a spot in the grand final against Inverell.
Treweeke said his side would have to work on their third quarters – something he said had been a “sore point” this year – if they are to progress to the big dance.
”It’s been something we’re trying to wok on and we got it right against Inverell a few weeks ago which helped us to win that game,” Treweeke said.
“In finals you can’t lost a quarter becasue temas liek Inverell and Gunnedah – they can hurt you really badly.
“It’s something we can work on but I’m really proud of the boys’ efforts today.”
Angus Quail and Jeremy Ratcliffe didn’t finish the game for New England but are a chance to return from injury for next week’s game.