Tiger cubs score hard-fought win to reach grand final

September 13, 2017

James Raco tackles his Moama opponent.

Luke Allen kicks ahead of his opponent.

The Cobram under-17s clash with Moama at Barooga Recreation Reserve proved to be an unexpectedly tough encounter that had spectators on edge all the way to the final siren.

Tigers’ under-17 coach Jason Kerr said the team was very excited after Saturday’s hard-won 47 to 42 victory over Moama.

‘‘They’re really pumped that they are playing in a grand final,’’ Kerr said.

‘‘It was very nerve-wracking at the end but it was good to see them win a game of footy the way we had to.

‘‘We were winning all year and against Moama our back was to the wall, facing adversity, but we had to fight back and get ourselves into a winning position and then hang on.

‘‘We probably could have done a bit better job of hanging on, but we’re in the grand final now.’’

Kerr said the team had yet to work that hard to win a game of footy this season.

‘‘That’s what learning to play footy is about — and they will learn from it,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s better having that in a second semi-final and having a win than in a grand final.

‘‘There were some good patches in there and they took some very good marks.

‘‘Jack Brooks kicking that goal into the breeze was a fantastic kick — I didn’t see anyone else for the whole day, seniors included, kick a goal that good.’’

Acknowledging the speed exhibited by Moama, Kerr added that the loss by Moama’s seniors meant that a couple of good players would be coming back into the thirds.

‘‘It should set up for a pretty good grand final,’’ he said.

And what will the team need to do to get some extra traction at the opening whistle?

‘‘We got off to a bad start on Saturday and it’s not often we do that, especially against good opposition like that,’’ Kerr said.

‘‘And we got off to a bad start kicking with the breeze.

‘‘Moama were three goals up in the first quarter but to our boys’ credit, we got ourselves back into a really good position.

‘‘At three-quarter-time we were three goals up and I think we played really well until about seven minutes to go.

‘‘It was great for the boys to fight back but in such a low-scoring game the opposition only had to kick a couple of goals and it was anybody’s game.’’

Kerr said training this week would focus on how to do it better and get more control of the game.

‘‘I think we did a few low-percentage things in the last seven minutes of that game.

‘‘Moama are a good team and they have won their last two or three premierships.

‘‘We just need to reset again and be ready to go on the big day — the thing is, we’re in there.’’

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