The Glen Innes Magpies league tag side have one more chance to make the grand final after a narrow semi-final loss to the Boomerangs.
The Magpies were in front 12-10 half-time before the Moree side shut them out in the second stanza of the physical encounter.
A few questionable calls ensued and the Boomerangs stole the 14-12 win three minutes from full-time with a try. Magpies’ co-coach Dave Biddle said it was an under par performance from his team.
“Didn't play well enough to win the game,” he said.
“We started out of the blocks well, we led 6-nil, we led 12-10 at half-time but in the second half we fell in a heap. They were disappointed in their own performance.”
The ‘Rangs went into with momentum, having knocked off second-placed Armidale the week before.
“The Moree Boomerangs hit their straps at the right time, they beat Armidale and then they beat us,” Biddle said.
“We will be better for the run but we weren't good.
“It was probably a performance that was well below our standards.
“We have won a lot of games on that form this year as club football but it is not enough to win a final.
We were beaten by a better side, they were more hungry than us, they executed well.
Moree’s win means they progress into the grand final on September 17.
The Magpies now face Armidale Rams this Sunday to play for the other decider spot.
Biddle said two players went down through injury in the Moree game and are under an availability cloud for the next clash but they have plenty of depth in the squad.
“We will be right for the weekend,” he said.
“We are quite happy to play them [Armidale], I think it should be the grand final actually.”
The Magpies girls finished as the Group 19 minor premiers and received the first week of semi-finals off.
Biddle said the break may have stopped their momentum but they hope to be back in the form that landed them top spot this weekend.
“They [Moree] never outplayed us but still won the game,” he said.
“We were disappointing and we only have to improve on that and we can beat them.”
The Rams’ knocked off MacIntyre Warriors 20-16 to earn the other elimination semi-final place.
This Sunday’s game commences at 10am at Rugby League Park, Armidale.