West Belconnen Warriors have derailed the Queanbeyan Blues’ hopes at a third straight premiership after downing the side in last Sunday’s Canberra Raiders Cup preliminary-final.
The narrow 10-6 upset win will see the Warriors line up against the near undefeated Queanbeyan Kangaroos next Sunday, in what will be their first grand final in nine years.
An early third minute try by Blues five-eighth Luke Branighan had the match looking ominous, but a sturdy defensive effort by the Warriors kept the Queanbeyan side scoreless for the rest of the match.
Warriors’ coach Troy Thompson commended his side’s strong defence, but admitted they’ll have to be more composed with the ball to come away with the trophy next week.
"The game was probably there for the taking for both sides. [It was] a real good effort from the boys, they just keep turning up in defence but we just keep turning the ball over,” Thompson said.
"If we can hold the footy and play some good structure, I think we'll be a chance [in the grand final]."
The game was in the balance until Warrior’s fullback Ryan McQueen broke through the line in the final ten minutes to keep his team’s trophy aspirations alive.
Warriors’ halfback Cody Wynnik is likely to be ruled out of the final with a concussion, and Thompson says it’s not worth putting his player in danger.
“[It’s] probably his fourth or fifth this year,” Thompson said.
"For a duty of care we've got to [look after him].
"We're not going to risk a player's health for a game of footy."
The grand final between the Kangaroos and Warriors will be held at Seiffert Oval on Sunday at 3.15pm.
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Sun 11 Sep
Seiffert Oval (Map)
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