The Geurie Goats travelled to Trangie for the last game of the regular season and weren’t willing to take anything less than a win ahead of the finals.
With Geurie locked in second place behind Narromine and Trangie vying for third place, it was bound to be tough but for the first time in a long time Trangie’s pack were being man handled and pummeled in attack and defence.
Geurie’s pack of Beau Thompson, Chris Newberry, Simon McGrath, Paul Mafi, Siua Sinisa, Irrangi Ranga, Wayne Mallison, and Paul Hausia smashed their opponents as the Tigers were continually driven back around the ruck and their scrum collapsing continuously throughout the game.
The Goats posted the first points of the game with a runaway try to Moavuka Kavauka who split the Tigers defence and ran 70 metres to score under the post, converted by Harry May.
Trangie had a power of possession from the kick off attacking the line of the Goats for the next 25 minutes, continually kicking deep turning the Goats around with the wind behind them.
The game plan was working as the Tigers were rewarded with a try built from persistence ruck and mauling as second rower Will Mitchell forced his way over for Trangie’s first try.
Possession changed throughout the first half as Geurie started to dominate with hard running from Amone Moeakiola and Jono Marks putting the Goats on the front foot as Nash Forgione was put through the gap by number 10 Brad Thorne scooting 40 metres untouched to score the last try of the first half. Moavuka converted for a 14-5 lead.
The Goats were unlucky to score early as Jimmy McGrath put Nela Matakaonga through the gap but was denied a certain try after crashing over the full back, but was somehow held up by the turf.
The second half was played at a frantic pace as both sides tried to throw the ball around.
It took 20 minutes in the second half before a point could be scored as Trangie continually rolled forwarded and pressured the Goats line before straight running from scrum landed centre Harry Smith a try under the post.
Geurie still looked in control of the game even though Trangie trialling by only two. Once Geurie gained back possession they also gained back control and field position.
A couple of cheap penalties for the Goats granted Mitch Draper and Moavuka two penalty goals stretching the lead 20-12 with minutes to play.
Trangie gained position immediately from the kick off and with determined mauling prop Todd Erickson went over in the corner.
Trangie had one last chance to steal a win away from the powerful Goats but fell short after a break from Mick Oriel was cut down by scrambling defence from the back two Hugh Edwards and Matt Dowell.
Paul Mullen was Geurie’s best, the powerful prop outclassed and muscled the Trangie front row as Geurie’s most dominate scrummaging display seen in 15 years.
The full-time score Geurie 20 Trangie 17.
Points Paul Mullen 3, Matt Dowell 2, Hugh Edwards 1.
The Goats will be rewarded with a bye this week before they take on the undefeated Narromine Gorillas in Narromine on Saturday, August 19 for the major semi-final to determine the host of this year’s grand final.