Led by Zach McManus' man-of-the-match showing, the Wellington Redbacks backed up their Oilsplus Cup Northern Division minor premiership by claiming the major prize in Saturday's grand final at Bicentennial Oval, sneaking home 25-19 over defending premiers Geurie.
McManus shone with the ball and with the boot in the Redbacks' victory, which earned redemption from last year's decider loss to the Goats, shooting straight from the tee and setting up one his side's five-pointers to lead the six-point victory.
Week in, week out, he's one of our best performers.Wellington coach Greg Brien, on grand final MVP Zach McManus
"Zac's performance was unbelievable - week in, week out, he's one of our best performers, certainly," Wellington coach Greg Brien said, who labelled his side's effort the performance they'd be looking for all season.
The Redbacks carried the momentum heading into the decider having secured hosting rights by knocking off the Molong Magpies in the major semi-final a fortnight earlier.
That held true in the game's opening stanza although the Redbacks couldn't turn pressure into points, until Geurie's ill-discipline began to prove costly.
First they lost Martin Tink to the sin-bin and then gave McManus a chance to slot his first penalty goal of the game, the Redbacks' star setting up James O'Brien's try not long after.
Even a scare late in the first half by the Goats nightmare duo of Filisone Pauta and Moa Kavaefiafi, with their first real touch of the ball, couldn't break Wellington's wall, and the hosts held their 8-nil lead until after half-time.
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Pauta and Kavaefiafi combined again and almost inspired the Goats' first try 10 minutes into the new half, but the Redbacks held them out and answered back through Mitch Budge, who won the race to his own pinpoint kick to score.
Finally the Goats found their groove and Kavaefiafi opened their account, but McManus extended the gap to 18-5 with another penalty goal.
Budge found space again, before the Redbacks shifted left hard and Tom Swainston found the line, the conversion opening up a 20-point lead with less than 20 minutes to go.
Geurie fought back and did enough to create back-to-back opportunities for Robbie Dowtown, but after his pair of converted tries cut the margin to six Wellington held firm.
"In a pressure situation like the grand final, I think that was the performance we were looking for," Brien said.
"You could pick a few things out of it that probably weren't done right, but I think that was just the pressure, it was a good performance all the way across the paddock today - I'd say pretty much close to being perfect.
"It's a bit of a dream come true for a lot of these blokes after going down last year."
Goats coach Paul Hausia credited the victorious Redbacks with a 'hungrier, more structured and more disciplined' performance when evaluating his side's loss.
"We can talk about percentages, we can talk about mistakes but the result is what it is," he said.
"The better team won at the end of the day, it's a credit to Wello, I said to the boys, if we're going back into the finals, the Redbacks will be who we're facing and I take my hat off to them."
Cootamundra completed their undefeated season in the South-West Division, hammering Harden 55-12 in the decider.
- WELLINGTON REDBACKS 25 (Mitchell Budge, James O'Brien, Tom Swainston tries; Zach McManus, Brad McCarroll conversions; McManus 2 penalty goals) def GEURIE GOATS 5 (Robbie Dowtown 2, Moa Kavaefiafi tries; unknown 2 conversions)
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