RUGBY LEAGUE: THE under 16 Gremlins travelled to Tenterfield on the weekend to face Collegians in the Warwick and District Rugby League preliminary final, looking to secure a berth in this weekend's grand final.
After victories against minor premiers Goondiwindi and a strong showing against Wattles in the minor semi-final, the U16 team was primed for a strong match in the grand final qualifier against long-time rivals Collegians.
The young men prepared well with good, structured sets and, in the first half, things looked promising.
Jacob Rashleigh and Lachlan Swan both crossed for tries off the back of strong runs from the forward pack.
Jake Burnell was successful with one conversion.
Until the early loss of fullback Kye Watson, who organises the side's defence and is a brick wall in the last line, the side was travelling well.
Defensive lapses gifted a couple of soft tries against the run of play.
The sides went into the break 10-10 at half time.
The coach's instructions were simple - keep doing what you are doing, just better.
The second half started poorly, with a number of missed tackles leading to Collegians skipping away to a 16-point lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The boys fired up after these three quick tries and worked hard to get back in the game leading to a second try to centre Lachlan Swan, that was duly converted by Jake Burnell to give a glimmer of hope of a comeback.
With 10 minutes to go, the boys looked to have scored through Tyler Sargeant in the corner only to be denied by the touch judge.
Despite desperate efforts, the young Gremlins just couldn't cross the white stripe. They gave up another late try to end the game 32-16 in Collegians' favour.
To finish the season, this Sunday is the Junior Gremlins prize giving day at the clubhouse.
There will be a barbecue lunch from 11.45am with kids to eat free and formalities starting at 12.30pm. Head along, with a chair, and enjoy the festivities.
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