Wellington Redbacks fend off Geurie Goats' second-half fightback to win Oilsplus Grand Final

Come rain, hail or shine, there was no possible way the hotly anticipated Oilsplus grand final clash between the Wellington Redbacks and the defending premiers the Geurie Goats was going to fail to deliver.

Down at Bicentennial park, the teams got to experience all three as harsh conditions battered the field in the lead-up to the clash and then softened as the match went on.

When all was said and done, the Redbacks walked off the field as hometown heroes, having denied the Goats a second straight grand final win after putting on a concentrated, disciplined performance that had eluded them for much of the season and taking home a 25 - 19 win.

"In a pressure situation like the grand final, I think that was the performance we were looking for," Redbacks coach Greg Brien said.

"You could pick a few things out of it that probably weren't done right, but I think that was just the pressure, it was a good performance all the way across the paddock today; I'd say pretty much close to being perfect."

"It's a bit of a dream come true for a lot of these blokes after going down last year, it's just nice to come out on top."

The Redbacks carried the momentum heading into the match, having already secured hosting rights during their last game of the regular season.

That held true in the game's opening stanza, with the mighty red and whites dominating possession and constantly backing the Goats up.

But in the rain and the mud, Wellington still weren't able to find much purchase, with the Goats holding them out until ill-discipline began to cost the Geurie side.

First losing lock Martin Tink to a yellow card, then giving Wellington's Zac MacManus an opportunity to kick a penalty goal from right in front of the posts.

The battle for possession stayed in Wellington's favour, with MacManus putting the pressure on the Goats by slipping through their defence and setting up a try for flanker James O'Brien.

"Zac's performance was unbelievable; week in, week out, he's one of our best performers, certainly," Brien said of the man of the match.

Even a scare late in the first half by the Goats nightmare duo of Filisone Pauta and Moa Kavauka with their first real touch of the ball couldn't open up the scoring, leaving the Goats heading into the break with an 8 - 0 split in Wellington's favour.

Despite another near-try from the pairing in the opening ten minutes of the second half, it was still all Wellington's game, with winger Mitch Budge slicing through the Geurie defence with a perfectly placed kick and then outpacing the defenders to notch up another try.

With conditions beginning to let up and in desperate need of points, the Goats were able to start putting together more disciplined pressure.

First, by forcing Wellington back to the try line and then by creating an opportunity for Kavauka to finesse his way around the edge of the Wellington defence and put the first points on the board for the Goats.

Another penalty kick gave MacManus an opportunity to widen the gap out to 18 - 5, before Mitch Budge terrorised the Goats right flank twice in quick succession, before the Redbacks shifted hard to the left and created an opportunity for Tom Swainston to cross the try-line and put the Redbacks a clear twenty points ahead with less than twenty minutes to go.

Not willing to surrender, the Goats began battling back and working hard, maintaining possession and momentum long enough to threaten the Redbacks and keeping the hometown heroes with their back to the try-line for a series of gruelling pushes before creating enough opportunities for Robbie Dowton to streak across the line twice and narrow the gap to 25 - 19.

Unfortunately for the defending premiers, the late effort wasn't enough to unsettle the Redbacks and another scare along the right flank kept the Goats from finding a last minute comeback.

Goats coach Paul Hausia credited the victorious Redbacks with a 'hungrier, more structured and more disciplined' performance when evaluating his side's loss.

"We can talk about percentages, we can talk about mistakes but the result is what it is," Goats coach Paul Hausia said.

"The better team won at the end of the day, it's a credit to Wello, I said to the boys, if we're going back into the finals, the Redbacks will be who we're facing and I take my hat off to them."