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Leeton on course in bid to defend their Group 20 title

Coaches always talk about timing being everything and wanting to avoid having teams peak too early during any given campaign.

The Leeton Galloping Greens have timed their run perfectly into Sunday’s Group 20 Grand Final showdown, where they will play the Darlington Point-Coleambally Roosters at Griffith’s Solar Mad Stadium.

Following a bye and forfeit, the Greens dusted off the cobwebs with an overwhelming 66-6 win against Yanco-Wamoon Hawks in Round 14. But they fell short going down to the Roosters 38-30 in their Qualifying final.

Since then, Leeton have found their mojo again, defeating the Yenda Blueheelers 42-26 in the Elimination final before last weekend’s 34-14 victory over the Griffith Black and Whites in the Preliminary final.

“We had a disrupted back end of the year and didn’t play for about three weeks coming into our last game and then finals,” Leeton Greens President Col Fisher said.

“We probably went into that first final underprepared, but we’ve now had three or four good games under our belts, and we’ll be good to go on Sunday.

“You could see our attack in the last half on Sunday - it was spot on, and the boys are finally back into the swing of things at the right time.”

Photos credit: Mandy Brooke Barnes Photography
Photos credit: Mandy Brooke Barnes Photography

Sunday’s Group 20 Grand Final against the Ben Jeffery-coached Roosters will be a replay of the 2022 decider, which finished a 30-10 victory for the Greens.

“It’s a good rivalry,” Fisher said.

“We’ve both been at the top end of the competition for a fair few years now, and every game is always close, and we always look forward to playing The Point.

“I expect it will be a tough game and close game.”

Leeton ended a 15-year First-Grade premiership drought in 2022, and the Greens will be out to record an 89-year first on Sunday.

Not since Leeton won back-to-back Group 9 titles in 1933-34 has a Galloping Greens side achieved the two-peat.

“I think that is definitely motivating the boys to put that bit of extra effort in and become a part of history,” Fisher said.

If the Greens win on Sunday, it will cap off an extraordinary coaching performance by Hayden Philp, who called on a very different squad this season.

“We have a lot younger squad this year compared to last year,” Fisher said.

“Last year, we had probably half our team over 30, and this year, only one or two are over 30, and we had three under-18s playing all year, and at least two of them will be in the Grand Final side.

The First-Grade decider will headline a massive day of Group 20 deciders in Griffith.

Click here for Group 20 draws and results.


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