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Temora Dragons captain-coach Josh McCrone

Josh McCrone's ever-reliable boot proved the difference in Sunday's Group 9 Round Eight encounter between Wagga Kangaroos and Temora Dragons at McDonald's Park, with the former NRL star's field goal securing a one-point Dragons win.

With both sides heading into the match level on 10 competition points and equal with the table-topping Tumut Blues, it was an important match.

The opening stages were highlighted by some quality set-for-set Rugby League, with both sides showcasing discipline in attack and brick wall-style defence.

The first try came from nothing.

Hamish Starr kicked long before a fortuitous bounce found winger Jared McKinnon, who also kicked through for Jock Ward. He then got his foot to the ball before recovering and scoring an entertaining try underneath the uprights.

Starr made no mistake with the conversion and Temora led 6-0 after 11 minutes.

Following back-to-back penalties, Kangaroos went on the attack with bullocking front-rower Luke Ingram held up over the line.

Moments later James Stewart got his head in the wrong spot, with the Temora centre making a vital tackle on Wagga custodian Latrell Siegwalt.

Siegwalt limped away but remained on the field, while Stewart's day was over.

After the break in play, the 'Roos were in next with the home side's weight of possession too much for Temora.

Enigmatic hooker Bowie Foster shaped right and appeared for all money to be going that way before selling his dummy, darting left, and scoring.

With Siegwalt feeling the ill effects of that earlier tackle by Stewart, Charlie Barton took over the kicking duties making no mistake to level scores at 6-6.

With their tails up the Kangaroos rolled downfield with James Hay, Troy Barby, and Luke Ingram running with some conviction.

Nathan Rose pulled all the strings as he combined with Jacob Mascini, who then put Ned Cooper in for a try in the left corner.

Barton missed the difficult conversion attempt and 'Roos led 10-6 after 20 minutes.

Both sides got into the grind and were forced to defend their lines at different points, but a seven-tackle set returned to haunt Kangaroos just before the break. 

Temora was in attacking territory after hit-ups from Gavin Kite, Luke Skidmore, Billy Reardon, and David White.

Reardon grubbered behind the line for McKinnon, who proved lightning-quick when grounding the ball to score a sensational try. Starr missed the difficult sideline kick but it was level at 10-all at halftime.

The start of the second half was marred with ill-discipline and errors creeping both side's games.

Kangaroos started to apply the pressure and Rose had the Steeden on a string, kicking for a high-flying Ned Cooper, who crossed for an outstanding try to the left of the uprights.

Barton converted to give Wagga the lead 16-10 after 61 minutes.

The Dragons then made something from nothing down the right edge before McCrone put up a cross-field kick, only for James Smart to make a mistake.

The loose ball was offloaded to Ward, who passed back to Jaiden Burke, and he crossed for the game-levelling try. Starr potted the easy conversion to lock things up again 16-16.

After points, Kangaroos gave away a penalty, and Temora was on the attack.

From seven metres out, front rower Zach Starr shaped to take a carry but instead passed back to McCrone, who slotted the game-winning field goal.

Kangaroos had an opportunity late, chancing their arm when in attacking territory but missed out. A James Smart field goal attempt was waved away to the left, ensuring a thrilling one-point win to Temora.

While that match was a close contest, the remaining Group 9 Round Eight results were very lopsided.

Young Cherrypickers beat South City Bulls 62-8 at Harris Park, and Albury Thunder put the Junee Diesels to the sword, winning 58-4 at Greenfield Park.

Round 9 draw – June 24: Temora v Albury at Nixon Park; June 25: Junee v South City at Laurie Daley Oval, Tumut v Kangaroos at Twickenham, Gundagai (bye), Young (bye).

Group 9 ladder: Tumut 12, Young 12, Temora 12, Albury 12, Kangaroos 10, Gundagai 10, South City 6, Junee 4.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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