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.
Tuggeranong will now play the West Belconnen Warriors next Sunday at Seiffert Oval in the Preliminary Final.