Another dramatic weekend of football has seen Round 17 results of the Group 6 Rugby League finalise it's top five in the First Grade competition.
Sunday afternoon saw The Oaks prove too strong for a young and competitive Mittagong side at Mittagong Sportsground. The Lions started well through Blake Jeffrey, who scored a nice solo try from dummy half, with Mittagong holding a 6-0 lead after 18 minutes, in a rare highlight for the home fans.
The cool and blustery conditions made life difficult for outside backs, but the Tigers' Mitchell Brasington mastered the weather the best, causing havoc for the Lions.
Ben Scambary, who was playing in the back row, finished with a double, as the tries flowed for the visitors after the 30-minute mark. The Tigers crucially scored tries either side of the halftime break, and added three in an 8-minute period, blowing the game wide open in the process.
Brasington was accurate with his goal kicking, landing all eight attempts at goal, in a personal haul of 16 points, as the Tigers cleared away from the Mittagong side, who could only manage one try after halftime.
The win sees the Tigers book their own finals berth, with a bye for themselves and Oakdale in Round 18 meaning Narellan can't reach the post-season, even with a win on Saturday night in the final round.
Brasington, along with brother and co-coach Matthew, would be happy with how the side is firing ahead of the finals, and would be loving the prospect of a local derby in the Elimination Final in two weeks time.
Oakdale won their way into the finals, following a 13-point win over Narellan on Saturday evening, in a match which was effectively a sudden-death playoff at Sid Sharpe Oval.
The Workers sprung out of the blocks, with two tries inside the opening ten minutes to Beni Nawai and Alec Bush against the Jets, in front of a vocal home crowd braving cold and windy conditions.
Matt Jones scored a well-deserved solo try to extend the lead to 14-0, before the Jets started their comeback through a try to Hakaraia Toi Toi. The Workers headed to the rooms at halftime in front 16-6, but coaches Brendan Reeves and Russell Lewis knew the game wasn't over.
Jackson Kuli gave the few brave Narellan supporters some hope with a try just after play resumed, but that was the lone highlight for the visitors, as Oakdale kicked into gear.
Tries to Arthur Little and Jake Steadman sealed the victory for the home side, before a consolation try to Leon Longbottom improved the scoreline for Narellan. Arthur Little kicked a field goal in the last-minute sealing the win, and finals berth at the same time.
The other Round 17 results saw Thirlmere defeat a stubborn and determined Campbelltown City side 34-22 at Fullwood Reserve, while Picton were too strong for Camden 32-6 at Victoria Park, giving the Magpies third place on the ladder.