Group 19 rugby league: Guyra to host grand final after thrilling semi win

A thrilling finish to the inaugural Group 19 second division major semi-final saw the Guyra Super Spuds clinch a win and the rights to host the decider. 

Taking on the Uralla Tigers at Woodville Oval, neither side could be split after 70 minutes of exciting rugby league. 

Corey Torrens stole the show in the opening half with the first try of the game less than three minutes in. 

Uralla winger Russell Burnham posted his own four-pointer out wide but Torrens hit back within minutes to push his side out to a 12-4 lead. 

The competition’s top tryscorer Paul Jackson added another one to his growing list to reduce the deficit 10 minutes before the break.

The home side were determined to land grand final hosting rights and began the second stanza on fire with Brody Dexter scoring less than five minutes in which gave the Tigers a 14-12 lead. 

It was short-lived though as Torrens notched up his hat-trick.

Kaleb Doran then stole the lead back for Uralla. 

With five minutes left on the clock, Guyra were awarded a penalty in front of he posts and Ben Vidler made no mistake to level the scores at 20-all. 

The full-time siren rang and, with the deadlock, the match went into extra time. 

Burnham crossed at the end of the first five minute session and Uralla erupted. 

Guyra weren’t done however as Jayden Field made his way over to draw level again by the end of extra time.

Into golden point. 

A penalty 45 metres out from the Guyra line and Uralla captain-coach Josh Clark opted for the goal attempt. 

His kick pulled up short giving Guyra hope. 

A mistake from the Tigers saw Guyra capitalise and send the ball wide to Alipate Kaufana who crossed to secure the triumph and a home grand final. 

We knew we were always there, we just had to execute and get the possession.

Anthony Dittman

You couldn’t wipe the smile of player-coach Anthony Dittman’s face post-match. 

“The boys deserved it, they played well,” he said. 

“We knew we were always there, we just had to execute and get the possession.”

A breathless DJ Patterson was elated with the victory and the chance to play the decider in front of a hometown crowd. 

“Best feeling ever,” he said. 

“I haven't had this feeling in a while. 

“We had to fight hard there in the last 10 [minutes].”

He said it was sheer determination which got them over the line after nearly 90 minutes of hard-fought rugby league. 

“Definitely. We wanted to get it home to Guyra so that was our main attack and we came through for the win,” he said. 

Earlier in the league tag, Uralla pipped the Walcha Jillaroos 18-16 to land their place in the grand final on September 1.