Following Glen Innes’s 30-56 major semi final loss to the Moree Boomerangs, they now face a fired up Gwydir in the preliminary final on Sunday to decide who will be the Rang’s opponent in the Grand Final.
It will be an intriguing battle, as on one hand Glen, winners of four of the past five grand finals, face the prospects of missing the grand final altogether and on the other hand, Gwydir given little chance by many of not even getting off the ground, could continue their spectacular first up season.
For Warialda and Bingara this is a wonderful opportunity to again display what these two gutsy small towns can do when they get together. Many times in the past both have won competitions with players from the other town, but this is the first official joint team.
Coaches Peter Stevens, Mick Wade and Wayne Ford put their hands up for the almost impossible jobs of pulling eighty plus players together from all over Gwydir Shire, plus the villages and towns on the extremes, and then to mould them into competitive teams.
They were extremely successful and will travel to Glen Innes knowing that they have the firepower to topple last year’s premiers. However it will be very tough and on their home ground, the Magpies will start favourites with their big experienced pack and their very structured game.
On the other hand, the young Gwydir pack is fresh from getting on top of Tingha and sure to frustrate their opposites with their defence.
Providing the forwards hold the line, the Gwydir backs will score tries, only Sunday will tell whether they score enough or not.
In other games on Sunday, Glen Innes will play in every grade against Tingha (League Tag), Uralla (18s) and Rangs (Reserves) The winners of these games play in the grand finals against Rangs (firsts), Armidale (reserves), Rangs(18s) and Uralla (League tag)