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Wide open race for Group 9 honours

With seven rounds remaining in the 2024 Group 9 competition, the battle for the minor premiership and the coveted top-five finals positions is set to intensify.

On paper, it is a race between five clubs in terms of top spot, with the Young Cherrypickers the current lamplighters on 19 points.

Young is one point ahead of Temora (18) (pictured above), while Gundagai (16) and Wagga Kangaroos (15) are close behind. Southcity (13) rounds out the top five.

With a chance to play finals Albury isn’t far off the pace on 11 points, while Tumut appears to have an outside chance on nine competition points. At best, Wagga Brothers (six) and Junee (four) are long shots.

Round 11 threw up a mixture of results highlighted by the Kangaroos making it three decisive wins on the trot when defeating Wagga Brothers 38-6 in the Wagga derby.

Playing at McDonald’s Park, Oliver Hoskins scored a hat-trick, and Ned Cooper and Zac Graham crossed for doubles as the ‘Roos piled on eight tries.

James Hay was strong up front and the evergreen James Smart guided the Wagga side around the park.

Temora travelled to Tumut and wasn’t troubled by the Blues, winning 36-12 at Twickenham.

Hayden Philp was a one-man wrecking machine leading from the front as Temora rolled forward and scored some entertaining tries.

Josh McCrone steered the ship, with his kicking game putting Tumut under pressure, while Joel Kelly flew high to score two excellent tries.

Young maintained their competition lead with a dominant 36-12 victory over the Junee Diesels at Alfred Oval.

The Tricolours' big forwards proved too much for the Diesels, with the home side scoring seven tries in their big win, which keeps them one competition point ahead of the Temora Dragons.

Throwing a spanner in the works was Albury Thunder defeating Southcity Bulls 24-10 at Greenfield Park.

Jackins Olam – brother to Wests Tigers flyer Justin Olam – scored a double for the Thunder as the Justin Carney-coached side kept their finals hopes alive, moving within one game of the top five.

In Round 12 this weekend the match of round will be in Gundagai with the Tigers hosting the in-form Kangaroos.

Brothers face a tough trip to Temora’s Nixon Park on Saturday, while on Sunday Southcity hosts Junee at Harris Park, and Young treks to Tumut to play the Blues at Twickenham.

Click here for all Group 9 ladders, draws, and results. 

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