Prepared for finals football

The sun is setting on the 2017 Group 6 competition.
The sun is setting on the 2017 Group 6 competition.

The top five has finally been settled in the group 6 first grade competition, but it came down to the final weekend of the season for the order to be confirmed.

Thirlmere Roosters hard fought 24-18 win at home against The Oaks Tigers ensured they would play finals football in 2017.

Thirlmere were made to fight for their win with returning centre Jacob Loko scoring two tries.

However, the former NRL player appeared to pick up an injury in the process, causing a concern for the Roosters’ coaching staff heading into the business end of the competition.

The Tigers never gave in the towel and even in the final minute had chances to steal a draw.

Sunday afternoon was much easier for the Mittagong Lions and Camden Rams who both knew their position in the top five was safe regardless of results.

Still, neither side took their match for granted.

Mittagong went down to Picton Magpies 30-16 at Mittagong Sportsground in front of a vocal home crow.

Picton’s acting captain, Michael Lett, and experienced second rower Alex Peters both bagged doubles in the win.

Mittagong fought hard all afternoon with their forwards – led by Mitch Eccleston, PJ Thornton and Adam Jeffrey – laying an excellent platform for attack.

Unfortunately for the Lions, Picton’s defence was too strong and limited the home side to three tries all afternoon.

The one concern for Mittagong coach Dan Beardshaw was an ankle injury to backrower Jesse Elliott.

Elliott was taken to hospital for treatment with initial reports suggesting a dislocated ankle to the hardworking forward.

In the other match the Rams travelled east of Narellan Road to battle it out with the Campbelltown City Kangaroos.

However, after 80 minutes neither side could be separated with the match ending 20-20.

The result ensured the Kangaroos also finished in the top three.

Errors and ill-discipline saw the Rams race out to a 12-0 lead thanks to tries from Mick Applebee and Matt Tedesco.

A try to Chris Williamson saw the Kangaroos reduce the margin to six points, however a second try to Tedesco quickly restored the 12 point margin for the Rams.

But a try to Ihaia Kohunui saw Campbelltown head into halftime down 18-12.

A penalty in front of the posts gave Camden an eight point lead however, a try to Campbelltown’s Jett Karam reduced that lead to four points.

A late try to Steve Faoagali ensured the sides would share the points.

Former Wests Tigers player Liam Fulton has enjoyed a successful season so far in his first year as Kangaroos coach.

While pleased with the result, Fulton was wary a similar performance next week would not be good enough.

Minor premiers Picton will enjoy the week off this weekend after a stellar and dominant 2017 season.

Second and third placed Thirlmere and Campbelltown will face off in the qualifying final while Camden will play Mittagong in an elimination final.

Both games will be played at Harvey Shephard Field in Camden on Sunday.