Group 19 rugby league: Glen Innes Magpies league tag team gear up for final

ALL SET: The Glen Innes Magpies league tag squad will take on the Inverell Hawks in the Group 19 first division grand final in Moree this Sunday. Photo: Brenton Hodge.
ALL SET: The Glen Innes Magpies league tag squad will take on the Inverell Hawks in the Group 19 first division grand final in Moree this Sunday. Photo: Brenton Hodge.

The Glen Innes Magpies league tag team will vie for back-to-back Group 19 premierships when they face Inverell in the grand final this Sunday. 

The Glen Innes league tag team were the first of the Magpies squads to qualify for the first division after they toppled the Boars in the major semi-final. 

The A graders landed their spot with a win over the Hawks in Sunday’s preliminary final. 

The league taggers claimed last year’s premiership with a 20-nil win over the Moree Boomerangs and coach David Willis is hoping they can draw on their experience and raise the trophy once again. 

“We have got a good mix [of experience],” he said. 

“The older girls and the youth that is coming through.

“They are going for back-to-back premierships so that is another little tick if they get that.”

It will only be the second game in five weeks for the Magpies girls but Willis doesn’t believe that will hinder their fitness at all.

“We had a couple of good hit outs last week training-wise,” he said. 

“A bit of a break doesn't hurt us I think.

“We have mainly been focusing on our defence and our attack, just the basics.”

Their grand final opponents finished the season in third after a surge in the later rounds. 

Willis said his team will have to be at their best to topple a Hawks side with momentum in their favour. 

“They have improved every week we have watched them play,” he said. 

“About a month ago I said any team could win it and that is still stands correctly.

“The job is not done yet for us or Inverell. They deserve their spot, like all the teams in the grand final deserve their effort. It will be a very tight game I reckon.”

Willis said the Magpies club is rapt with having two sides out of three grades making it to the big dance with the under 18s only just missing out to the Boomerangs from a four-point loss to the Boomerangs. 

“We had to pull reserve grade out so that strengthened up our A grade squad,” he said. 

“Juniors were unlucky the other day I thought. Gav had them going pretty well but finals football, those little one percenters can cost you at the end of the game.”