Glen Innes Magpies’ league tag side confirmed they would finish the Group 19 season in top spot with a comfortable win over Inverell.
The Magpies soared to a 10-nil lead in the opening half in Saturday’s game with tries to Kayla Williams and Kate Fakes. Emily McMeniman opened the scoring early in the second term before the Hawks made their comeback to trail just 16-10.
McMeniman secured her second late in the game which sealed the 22-10 win for the Magpies.
Co-coach David Biddle said Glen Innes came up against a tough and determined Inverell outfit but his side’s persistence paid off.
“I don't know how Inverell are down so low on the ladder because they were excellent on Saturday,” he said.
“They were there to play and were up for it but we weathered the storm.
“We won comfortably but it wasn't a big score. Inverell stuck it to us straight away and we knew they would do that. We were up for that.”
The final round of Group 19’s regular season commences this weekend with the Magpies at home to the Moree Boars this Sunday.
The Boars are out of the finals race based on points differential and the Magpies will use the last game before finals to put the finishing touches on their game.
“All the other teams are getting better now, all the other teams are improving,” Biddle said.
“We are just cruising along, we are happy with where we are at the moment.”
Heading into the final rounds of the Group 19 season, the Magpies were out to upset sides aiming for a finals berth and, against the reigning premiers, that’s exactly what they did.
On Inverell’s home turf, the Magpies put together their “best performance for 80 minutes” to win 48-12.
Coach Nick Ehsman said Glen Innes fired from the get-go.
“We stuck to our game plan, just a full effort,” he said.
“We had a couple of things go our way too which always helps to start off.
“Our start in both halves, that first 10 minutes is always the one where we seem to struggle but we just put the foot down and kept going so it was awesome.”
Inverell needed the win to stay within reach of the finals but Glen Innes’ performance ensured the current champions will not be defending their title.
“Half their crowd left with 20 minutes to go and that is what you want,” Ehsman said.
“Everything went well for us and we did everything we trained for. Everyone played awesome, there wasn't a bad player on the field and it was just a good feeling in the sheds and around the club.”
The Boars clinched the final spot in the semi-finals but the Magpies will be out to make sure the Moree side don’t take momentum into the finals. Ehsman hopes a big crowd turns out to cheer the home side on.
“We will go in with some confidence and I think we can win this one for sure,” he said.