Group 19 rugby league: Magpies beat Boomerangs in major semi-final

OFF TO THE BIG DANCE: Adam Morris takes on Boomerangs defenders in Sunday's major semi-final at Mead Park.
OFF TO THE BIG DANCE: Adam Morris takes on Boomerangs defenders in Sunday's major semi-final at Mead Park.

Glen Innes will host the Group 19 first division grand finals with the Magpies first grade side securing the rights after defeating the Boomerangs in Sunday's major semi-final.

Blustery conditions weren't conducive for free-flowing rugby league but the Magpies managed to defend their way to a victory.

A poor completion rate in the first-half saw the Magpies gift the Moree side plenty of possession.

The Magpies found themselves down on the scoreboard within two minutes but hit back through Luke Hodgson.

Down 8-4 nearing half-time, Jamie Watts managed to offload for Michael Miller to go in under the posts to give the Magpies a 10-8 advantage at the break.

Player-coach Nick Say was happy with how his team prevented the Boomerangs from capitalising.

"I think it was a pretty disappointing first-half but I think we have to credit our defence in that effort," he said.

"They had a lot of cracks at us on our line and we with held them which was very pleasing, it gave us a bit of momentum for the back half of the game.

"It was a scrappy game really, it was very hard to control the footy in the windy conditions but we really dug deep for one another."

It took nearly 20 minutes in the second stanza for the first points to be scored with Isaiah Tunamena going over next to the posts and from there, the Magpies never looked in doubt with Guy Mepham and Sam Schiffmann bustling over for converted tries.

An intercept and length-of-the-field try to Boomerangs' rake Zac Sampson minutes out from the siren reduced the deficit to 28-12 but it was too late.

The first grade victory ensures Glen Innes will host all first division grand finals on August 25.

The Magpies league tag team have one more shot at making the grand final after defeating the Moree Boomerangs 16-6 in Saturday's minor semi-final in Armidale.

The Glen Innes girls posted 16 points with tries to Amelia Levy-Blair, Kate Fakes and Breanna Grange and managed to keep the Boomerangs scoreless until late in the match.

They will face minor premiers Moree Boars in Moree this Saturday for a spot in the grand final.

The Magpies under-18 side also have one more chance to make the decider after succumbing to the Boars on Sunday. The Glen Innes side was beaten 26-16 and coach Gavin Peterson was straightforward about their efforts.

"We just didn't come out of the blocks. We came out flat and never really lifted from there," he said.

"The ball control was horrible the whole game, in defence we had no line speed and the whole game it didn't change."

Despite their poor execution, the Magpies were still a chance on the scoreboard.

"That is what we spoke about at half-time, even though with how bad we were playing we were only behind by eight so we thought if we could lift we were a big chance of winning the game but they played worse in the second-half," Peterson said.

"We do so we have to dust ourselves off and realise that there is still another week to go and lift for next week and hopefully they can get a win and get a shot at the grand final."