Waves crash over Wallaroos
LEAGUE: The Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade title will stay in Bundaberg this year after defending premiers The Waves eliminated the last remaining Fraser Coast team.
But it wasn't without a scare or two.
The Waves will play Easts next week for a spot in the grand final after beating the Wallaroos 42-30 on Saturday night at Salter Oval.
The defending premiers led at half time 18-12 before leading by 18 points with less than 15 minutes remaining.
The Roos, with their season on the line, then came back as Wallaroos half Luke Waters stole the show.
He had scored two tries before setting up another to reduce the margin to 12 and then kicking a 40/20, which led to another try and a margin of six.
But The Waves scored a late try before kicking a penalty on full-time to win.
"We either start strong or start slow and then finish slow or finish strong,” Tigers player Rohan Gibbs said.
"It's been our year, we've got to get our head around that.”
The Waves had seven different try scorers. Two of them, Sam Tobin and Lachlan Santana, are part of the under-18 team as well.
Gibbs said both played well and were joined by fellow youngsters Jai Smith and Lachlan Madden.
"They've just been really amazing and really stepped up,” he said.
"I love seeing the under-18 boys coming through, you never have to worry about them, they always give 100 percent.”
Gibbs said the side can qualify for the grand final, despite losing to Easts in the first week of the finals.
"We just got to stick to our game plan, play simple football.”
The Roos were disappointed not to qualify for their third grand final in a row.
But it was still a good year despite the loss.
"We have a lot of under-18s coming through and they have got big futures,” Roos player Sam Barwick said.
"We just need to keep sticking with each other.”
Barwick conceded the team didn't complete sets properly and gave The Waves forwards too much room the middle.
He added that by the time the side got the momentum in the second half, it was too late.