Central North Rugby Union: Walcha are off the the grand final

Walcha are off to the grand final to take on the Pirates
Walcha are off to the grand final to take on the Pirates

Fresh from a week off and raring to go, the Rams took on Moree at Moree for a chance to take on Pirates in the Grand Final again.

Moree had pushed Pirates right to the wire so the Rams knew it would be a tough day in the office. Moree started the better of the two sides and while some defence was pretty solid, especially from Simon Newton, the Rams were guilty of tackling slightly too high and eventually paid the price as Moree found some space wide and crossed for the first try.

Walcha hit back with a penalty goal to Newton but soon Moree had the running again and on the back of some interesting penalties, scored a pushover try to lead 12-3.

Walcha defended and defended well for the entire first half and could have been further behind but for some great scrambling defence from the outside backs.

Simon Newton went down with a foot injury which saw Pat Keen slip into fly half and dirty Dom Bower take up inside centre with Jake Sherrin on the wing.

Walcha were finally able to get some quality possession at the end of the first half and after a huge run from Sando Cameron, spun the ball wide where Harry Locke was caught just short but Jake Sherrin snuck in and fired the ball from the ruck to an unmarked Ed Cordingley who did the rest to narrow the gap to just four points at half-time.

The half-time talk was all about putting phases together and dropping the defensive effort and it seemed to do wonders for the team as Pat Keen opened the scoring in the second half bumping off a couple of would-be defenders much to the delight of the vocal Walcha supporters.

Despite the strong headwind, Walcha were able to play some good territory and, after a string of penalties saw Moree lose one to the bin, Walcha capitalised when Henry King crossed under the sticks after a long lead-up from the forward pack.

Dicko Young screamed onto an Angus Mactavish pass shortly after and raced 25 meters to score showing the old legs still have plenty of life.

Thor Crombie effected a great steal and Mactavish sent a kick over the top where Dicko Young tapped it back and Pat Keen, ever present and he toed it through and comfortably beat any chasers to take the score to 34-12 to Walcha with 11 minutes to play.

Walcha did not close out the game very well and despite some moments of good defence, were guilty of concentration lapses and poor execution which allowed Moree to score two tries and make for a tense final couple of minutes.

The Rams had done enough though and booked a rematch of the 2017 decider after a very tough battle where the coaches will be sweating on a number of injuries.

Depth is there this year and the desire is there 10-fold to take the title, Pirates have had their fun.

It would appear unlikely that the report will be done in any reasonable time next week, keep an eye out for it some time in October.

However, for the best type of report you can get, head down to Pirates oval, Ken Chillingworth in Tamworth at 3 pm this Saturday to see the red and white army look to grab a piece of history and the Rams first A grade premiership since 1997.