Above: Narrabri Rugby Club first grade teammates Matt McDonnell and Jydon Hill combined to make a tackle in their side’s 27-26 comeback win against the Pirates on Saturday.
The Narrabri Rugby Club’s first grade side produced one of the wins of the season on Saturday in front of a home crowd at Dangar Park, coming from behind to defeat the defending champions Tamworth Pirates.
In round 16 of the Central North Rugby Union season the Blue Boars edged out the Pirates 27-26.
By doing so Narrabri moved to second place on the ladder and knocked the Pirates out of the top four.
The Blue Boars trailed 19-0 in the first half and 26-10 in the second but refused to give up.
Two converted tries in three minutes in the second stanza got the home side back to within two points of the Pirates before Michael Cain stepped up in the 75th minute to take a penalty goal to put the Blue Boars in front.
Cain nailed the kick from almost 40 metres out which put the home side ahead 27-26.
The Narrabri men then held on to claim the victory on a day where a huge upset in Scone helped the Blue Boars move into the top two.
At the Scone Rugby Club the Brumbies welcomed the Moree Bulls for their round 16 match.
The home side was victorious 43-33 which meant Narrabri’s win saw it leapfrog Moree into second place.
There was another upset in round 16 when Gunnedah scored a huge victory on home soil.
The Red Devils took on first-placed Walcha Rams and kept the league leaders scoreless, picking up a 24-0 victory.
Following a stalemate first half, Gunnedah piled on all 24 of its points in the second half.
In the other first grade game that was played in round 16 Inverell beat Barraba 34-12.
Narrabri and the Pirates met in the women’s sevens, under-19s and second grade competitions on Saturday at Dangar Park.
Narrabri’s women’s sevens team lost its first game 17-10 but bounced back to win its second 24-14.
The under-19s and second grade Blue Boars teams went down 39-12 and 29-15 respectively.
Blue Boars first grade coach Dylan Duncan was ecstatic as he celebrated with his team on-field just after full time, labelling securing a home grand final as the team’s goal for the season.
“This feels pretty good,” Duncan told The Courier.
“The Pirates are a very good team, they’ve beat a fair few sides this year.
“For our boys to stand up at home and beat them is a great achievement and it shows that they are here to play for the finals.
“We have got Quirindi next week then Moree the week after [at Dangar Park] so we can keep this winning run going, I guarantee it.
“We want to play Walcha in Walcha in the major and try to get the grand final here.
“Our team is a serious footy team and they are here to play.”