TAREE Panthers under 15s won a golden point thriller against Red Rovers in the Group Three Junior Rugby League major semi-final to earn the first spot in the grand final.
In windy conditions the game the started at a fast pace with Panthers dominating in attack to cross. The first try was scored by Jake Ferris after a slick backline movement to lead 4-0. Panthers again were too strong in attack when Ryan Long crossed to score to make it 8-0.
Panthers then dropped their intensity and Rovers crossed through Drey Mercy to make it 8-4 at half time.
Rovers started to dominate field position through Panthers’ poor ball security and again crossed through Drey Mercy to make the score 8-8.t
Taree started to get back in the game and crossed under the posts through Cody Ferguson to make 14-8. Panthers were dominating field position and were given a penalty in front and took the kick to make it 16-8.
Rovers hit back with a 60m try to make it 16-12 and a further try in the corner to Casey Morgan to made the score 16-16 at fulltime. The game went into golden point and with one minute left in the first half Panthers worked the ball deep into rovers’ territory and Ryan Long took the ball and slottd the winning drop goal to take the win 17-16.
Forwards Sam Burnes, Mat Longsdale, Trai Blair, Ryan Young, Zac Power, Ryan Long were all sensational in the middle.
Hayden Essery, Harry Wesley, Jake Ferris, John Roberts, Braydon Bungie, Malachi Walker and Jarrad Gibson were great in attack and defence. Interchange players Dane Hinton, Cody Ferguson, Lachlan Brown, Ethan White, Zackery Lewis and Kye Andrews were also sensational.
The players should hold their heads high considering four should not of played after carrying injuries into the game.