Tigers roar in final term to produce come-from-behind win

A CODY Szust banana from the boundary helped seal an incredible comeback from Nightcliff who looked dead and buried against Waratah, as the Tigers booted five goals to one in a final term fightback. The 9.10 (64) to 9.8 (62) win moves the Tigers to within one victory of a grand final, while Tahs will face Southern Districts in a do-or-die semi-final.

Waratah raced out of the blocks early, piling on five unanswered goals to open up a 30-point point lead. That give the red and whites some breathing space heading into the main break after Nightcliff kicked the only goal of the second term.

It was quite a contest after half time, as both sides were up for the fight, kicking three goals apiece, though Waratah still held a 23-point advantage with a quarter to play. Looking out of it, Nightcliff needed to find a way to score, and did, kicking 5.2 (32) in the final term, making the most of their chances after 4.8 (32) for the first three quarters.

Waratah could only managed the one goal, which meant despite the large advantage at the final break, could not capitalise on an upset, having to settle for a knockout semi-final instead with the 9.10 (64) to 9.8 (62) loss.

Nightcliff coach Leigh Crossman said he was impressed with the second half after a disappointing first half that had become a theme for the Tigers this season.

“We probably rolled the forwards up too high and got a few guys to sit back, but we were always in the contest, we just weren’t executing very well,” Crossman said.

“That last half was pretty impressive and it’s something we can build on for the St Mary’s final.

“Kicking a single goal in the first half has been a bit of a common theme, but in this case where we kicked nine goals from 19 shots, the last one gave us the win, which was great.”

Though disappointed, Waratah coach Ryan Ayres said Nightcliff was a “quality outfit” having won seven of the last eight, and the ‘Tahs would now utilise the second chance they gave themselves with a final round win.

Waratah will face Southern Districts after a 26-point win over PINT in the elimination final over the weekend. The match was marred by an incident that involved manhandling a field umpire, but after a ix goals to one first half, the game always looked the Croc’s for the taking.

The Crocs’ 12.10 (82) to 8.8 (56) win was built off the first half, where they kicked away to lead by 26 points at half-time. Both teams found ways to score i the second half with the difference remaining the same, but it was Southern Districts who kept its hopes of a flag alive, while PINT will head to the off-season.


Qualifying Final: Nightcliff 9.10 (64) def. Waratah 9.8 (62)
Elimination Final: Southern Districts 12.10 (82) def. Pint 8.8 (56)

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