After an extraordinary season, it now comes down to two quality teams. The Wyong Roos and the Newcastle Knights will face off in the VB NSW Cup Grand Final.
The two Preliminary Finals didn’t fail to excite and entertain. Here are the most amazing stats to come out of them.
Newcastle Knights vs Mounties
The Newcastle Knights earned redemption when they valiantly defeated the Minor Premiers, Mounties 30-26. The Knights will go into their second Grand Final in consecutive years after losing to the Penrith Panthers in 2014.
Jaelen Feeney was outstanding for the Knights. Doctor’s orders prevented him from playing in the second week of the Finals Series due to illness but he didn’t fail to fire in his return to lead the Knights into the premiership decider. The talented former Queensland Under 20’s representative scored three tries raising his tally to 11 for the year, made 13 tackles and ran for 145 metres with the ball.
The Knights as a team made 137 runs for a total of 1406 metres, 17 of those runs were made by speedster Jake Mamo.
Both teams produced quality football as they equalled the completion rate of 79 per cent each.
The similarities continued. Mounties and Newcastle both scored six tries a piece but ultimately it came down to the conversions. Mounties Mitch Cornish converted only one out of six attempts while Newcastle’s returning hero, George Ndaira, converted three of his.
Stewart Mills, the flying winger from Mounties scored a double, made 189 metres from 17 runs and notched up two line-breaks.
Mills was outdone in the metre department by his teammate fullback Jack Ahearn. The former Junior Kangaroo made an astonishing 237 metres from 21 runs.
Mounties as a team had most of the ball; they made 152 runs for 1584 metres and seven line-breaks, while the Knights made five line-breaks.
The top tacklers for this match were no surprise with Glen Buttriss (Mounties) making 34 while Danny Levi (Knights) made 35.
Wyong Roos vs Canterbury Bulldogs
The Wyong Roos will go into their first ever Grand Final since entering the NSW Cup in 2013. It’s been an incredibly quick rise to the top or Wyong after finishing in last place In their inaugural year.
The Roos defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs 44-20 after enjoying the week off thanks to defeating reigning premiers Penrith in week one of the Finals Series. The Bulldogs welcomed Shaun Lane into their side after he had duties for the NRL to tend to but his services weren’t enough to take down the Roos.
Inspirational Captain of the Roos, Mitch Williams was exceptional; he made 32 tackles, provided a try-assist and scored a try for himself.
Completion rates are a vital thing to get right especially in a crucial game. The Roos completed at a remarkable 83 per cent while the Bulldogs let themselves down by only completing 62 per cent of their sets and made 12 errors.
To the Bulldogs’ credit, two players stood out in particular; Lloyd Perrett scored a double and Adam Elliott made 41 tackles.
In this match goal kicking was a highlight particularly for the Roos, converting six out of seven and slotting two penalty goals. The Bulldogs also slot two out of two.
Tackling was the order of the day for the Bulldogs simply because Wyong continually controlled the ball as the Dogs struggled to mount their attack. The Bulldogs made 304 tackles while the Roos only had to make 260. Interestingly the Roos and the Bulldogs missed the same amount of tackles with 32 a piece.
It’s set to be a thrilling Grand Final so make sure you’re part of a cracking day of footy. Mark it in your calendar, Sunday 27th September at Pirtek Stadium.
The NSWRL Grand Final day, held at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday, September 27, is the biggest day on the VB NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield calendars and the only live rugby league in Sydney that weekend – and adult tickets are just $10, with kids under 12 free! With face painting, live music and a carnival-like atmosphere, it’s the perfect day out for young and old.Get your tickets here.