The Woden Valley Rams have booked their Grand Final place, while the West Belconnen Warriors knocked out the Queanbeyan Kangaroos.
The Woden Valley Rams have reached their first Grand Final since the inauguration of the Austbrokers Canberra Raiders Cup with a 24-16 win over the Tuggeranong Bushrangers.
The Tuggeranong Bushrangers started the match the stronger of the two sides as David Faaeteete burst through the line to score in the 12th minute.
The Bushrangers continued to pile pressure on the Rams and were rewarded as Mick Picker found a gap in the line and doubled the lead.
Tuicakau made it 16-0 to the Bushrangers as he sprinted 40 meters after the ball was stripped from the Rams but the momentum swung in Woden’s way as Michael Brophy and Brent Neil were injured.
Daine Spencer attacked the blindside and sprinted away to put Woden on the board before Sean Maloney put the Rams within four points at the break after he latched on to a Cody Hodge kick.
Woden found their stride in the second half and took the lead ten minutes in as Jeff Morgan rampaged over to level the scores before Withers put them in front with the conversion.
Ron Leapai added the scoreline as he broke through the line to crash over in the 60th minute in what proved to be the final score of the match.
Atu Tupou was sent to the bin shortly afterwards for Tuggeranong but the Bushrangers were staunch in defence to prevent Woden from adding to the scoreline.
Lincoln Withers was sent to the bin with only a few seconds remaining but it didn’t dampen the celebrations as Woden reached their first Grand Final since in the inauguration of the Austbrokers Canberra Raiders Cup in 1998.
The West Belconnen Warriors have defeated the Queanbeyan Kangaroos 18-16 at Seears Workwear Oval to book their place in the Preliminary Final.
For the second week in a row, it was Ryley Thomas who delivered the knockout blow as the Warriors replicated last week’s scoreline against the same opponent.
After a tense start to the match, Josh Ayers powered his way over the line to give the Queanbeyan Kangaroos a 6-0 lead.
Warrior’s captain Ryan McQueen hit back for his side in the 29th minute but Lachlan Keeley missed the chance to level the scores as he missed the conversion from out wide.
West Belconnen continued to win the battle for field position as they proved to be staunch in defence and they were rewarded for their efforts as Mitchell Shaw busted through the line to give the Warriors the lead on the stroke of halftime.
The Queanbeyan Kangaroos bounced back in the second half as Brent Crisp scored after a Josh Ayers run left the Warriors’ line in disarray.
The match continued to see saw as Campbell finished off a set play for West Belconnen but the Kangaroos hit the front via Nukurua Ngere.
However, for the second week in a row Ryley Thomas put a dagger in the Kangaroos’ hearts with a try out wide as the Warriors held out to win.
The Kangaroos’ exit means there will not be a Queanbeyan side competing in the Grand Final for the first time since 2009.
The West Belconnen Warriors will now play the Tuggeranong Bushrangers next Sunday at Seiffert Oval in the Preliminary Final.