THE Bombala boys travelled to Batemans Bay to play in the Plate Grand Final against Milton on Saturday.
Bombala ran into the wind in the first half which was always going to be a tough start. Milton were quick to take advantage of the wind with a well placed kick to turn the Bombala team around.
Milton had the Bombala side under pressure with some desperate defence on their line. However Milton were first to score after the continued pressure led to a try which was converted, Milton led 7-0.
The Bombala boys wanted to get the ball up the other end of the field, and through some good work with ball in hand were able to keep Milton in the end of the field.
A chip over from Bombala saw a favourable bounce to Milton and their halfback was able to scoot round the defence and throw a ball back to an inside runner who crossed the line. Not converted, Milton up 12-0.
From here the Bluetongues knew that they had to be next to score.
With the wind getting stronger and harder to kick into the ball had to stay in hand. The Bluetongues forwards were making good yards, Sio Papalii was strong again as was Terry Tighe with some good carries.
Some good support from the loose forwards gave clean ball for halfback Digby Walcott to feed the backs. A solid run from Rhys Crouch put the Bluetongues on the front foot.
Continuing from there the forwards got within five meters of the Milton line and quick ball gave breakaway Ross Page the chance to dive over and score. Unconverted score, to Milton 12-5
With the first half coming to a close Milton had one more chance to score and they took advantage by putting the ball through the backs and scoring out wide. Converted meant Milton led at half time 19-5.
Second half meant the wind was at the Bluetongues’ backs and they needed to chase down a 14 point deficit. The Bombala boys were right on the attack from the start.
Another big run from Sio Papalii saw him crash over the line only to be disallowed and called held up. From the five meter scrum a set move from the backs got close to the line.
A quick pick up from the base of the ruck by John Guthrie saw him dive over. Try converted 19-12.
Again Bombala continued to pressure Milton. A great kick from 5/8 Andy Guthrie put a line out only ten meters from Milton line. A win against the throw got the ball back into bluetongue hands.
Right on the line a pass out to the backs was intercepted and the Milton 5/8 was able to sprint 97 meters to score. Score line 24-12 to Milton.
Time was running against the Bluetongues and after a try to substitute Kincaid Lunn, who stole the ball off the Milton half back to put it over the line. Try was disallowed after the ref didn't see the ball grounded.
The Bluetongues kept their heads up and were right back into Milton’s red zone, and a great individual effort from fullback Andy Anderson saw him score right next to the posts, which was converted. Score line 24-19.
Ten mins to go Bombala just couldn't get the last try we needed to win. Final score 24-19 to Milton.
Congrats to all the Bluetongues for a great season of fun rugby with a great crew of gentlemen. Plenty of new faces puts us in great stead for next year.
Big thanks to all our sponsors this year, without the support we wouldn't be able to play the game we all love.
A special thank you from all the Bluetongues to our fearless leader and coach Vinnie Papalii who has brought the team together all year and led from the front.
Cheers boys see you all next year!