2019 Major Semi Final

Gorillas Secure Home Grand Finals

It was a very big day for the Narromine Gorillas at the weekend with 1st and 2nd Grade securing Grand Final appearances and the Women overcoming a likely Premiership contender to progress to the next round of their finals series.

The Women started off the day in Molong for an elimination semi-final against a rampaging Forbes team that seemed to be on an unbeatable run.

The Gorillas started strong with Jaimilee Elwin and Lakeisha Hull finding space in the Forbes defensive line before Beth Stace finished the drive with a try. A strong Gorillas scrum was setting the tone with front row Megan Mrowka, Kayla Fowler and Sophie Currey dominating up front with good support from back-rower Sarah Mallon. Forbes hit back early in the second quarter, however, Alice Theberge crossed for another try for the Gorillas to take a lead into half time.

Narromine gave away a lot of penalties early in the second half allowing Forbes to find some space for some points having them lead 14-12 for most of the second half. After having a try disallowed Bec Smyth made no mistake with another from close range and had Narromine in front with minutes to play. Their was frantic changes in possession until a strong Gorillas scrum won against the feed allowing Lakeisha Hull to motor through to score right on full time.

In what could only be described as the most physical game of Rugby the girls have played to date, the Gorillas 24-14 win over Forbes sees them through to the next round of finals and has everyone now paying close attention with the Girls being tipped as a real chance this year. The Women will travel to Cowra this Saturday to play Temora in another elimination final.

The Gorillas Colts are also in Cowra this weekend, on Sunday however, in their first finals game against the Rhinos. Anyone able to make the trip will certainly help our teams chances!

The Gorillas 2nd Grade made sure of their Grand Final appearance posting a 40-0 win over Mudgee. The home side enjoyed great depth in the forwards off the bench that rotated well to maintain their intensity over the visitors creating plenty of opportunities for points.

Narromine stuck to their game plan well, stringing phases together and dominating possession to starve Mudgee of ball. Scoring opportunities started appearing with forwards and backs sharing in the spoils. Players-player Hayden Everett was devastating in attack and defence showing just how strong he is, and also crossed for a try to cap off his wonderful performance.

With the Gorillas forwards dominating Mudgee looked for opportunities wider of the ruck, but running into Pat McCutcheon, Luke Brown and Craig Duff was never going to bear them any delights as they were met strongly with every effort shut down well. Ryan Wheeler played well at scrum half and kicked five from six adding plenty of points to his tally. Now wearing headgear and not having to adjust his man-bun at every breakdown, Liam Gleeson was very quick on the ball and managed a try for himself as the Gorillas stormed home.

Most likely a disheartening result for Mudgee but they will still be looking for another chance in the Grand Final, but they’ll have to beat CSU this week to get there…

With some mixed performances against CSU this year Narromine’s 1st Grade knew this was their chance to get it right with hosting rights for this years Grand Final on the line. There were plenty of nerves but it had the Gorillas in the right frame of mind as CSU started with great intensity playing for field position early repeatedly kicking deep into the Gorillas half, and managed a penalty goal to get first points. But the mighty Gorillas showed just how good they can be from anywhere on the field with Mitch ‘wrecking-ball’ Rixon busting the line, then sending Jake ‘flash’ Brennan 60 metres to score the Gorillas first in what would have been a demoralising result for CSU seeing their hard work go to waste. Highlight of the first half was outside-outside centre Charlie Tucks line-break, kick through and regather from George Hancock for a try.

The Gorillas proceeded to play their style of Rugby running strongly through the middle with John ‘Bent-Finger’ Ellis pounding away at the CSU defence, supported well by Players-Player (again) Sam McLeod making great meters all game. With CSU’s back-line staying fresh through lack of ball they tried to make in impact in defence, however with Rixon on his outside, and a number of great options on his inside fly-half George Hancock steered the team through the middle with great results each time.

CSU showed plenty of fight, continuing to try and find ways to get through the Gorillas defence which they achieved late in the second half as the Gorillas failed to scramble well enough. Although, as if to prove it was nothing but a brief lapse the Gorillas scored immediately after through Sam McLeod, and then again through Jack Neill right on full time to finish 57-10 winners.

CSU now play Mudgee this week in order to make the Grand Final and have another chance at the Gorillas. But they’ll have to do it in Narromine as the 1st Grade win gives Narromine hosting rights to this year New Holland Agriculture Cup 1st and 2nd Grade Grand Final on August 17. With both the Gorillas Grade sides in the Grand Final it is sure to be a massive day, we hope to see you there and witness another miracle from the small community of Narromine!

 

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