FOR the fifth consecutive season CSU will line up in the Wallerawang Landscaping Cup grand final, the Mungoes booking a direct passage to the mid-west decider with a 28-16 win over Orange United on Saturday.
It was a passage they had to work hard for as the Warriors tested their defensive line time and time again at Diggings Oval as CSU conceded a host of off-side penalties.
But the Mungoes held on under pressure to take out the major semi-final.
"We had a simple game plan, hard and sharp up the middle and smart out wide and back our backs," captain-coach Callum Flanagan said.
"They got over us every now and then, but we just got up in their guts and put it on them. That was the hardest game, we had to really work for it.
I've never been prouder of the boys, they showed here and now that they are premiers.CSU captain-coach Callum Flanagan
"I've never been prouder of the boys, they showed here and now that they are premiers."
CSU hit back in the eighth minute via left centre Blake Schaefer after they enjoyed consecutive sets for the first time, but when it came to possession in the first half the Warriors were the clear stats leader.
In the second quarter they had back-to-back sets on four occasions, but CSU hung on and when they got their chance to attack capitalised.
It was halfback Lachie Wilson who found space on the right edge and Flanagan converted to make it 12-6 at half-time.
The third quarter again saw CSU absorb in defence - Warriors started the period with three consecutive sets after the Mungoes knocked on from the kick-off - then counter in with the ball with tries to Lachie Balcombe and Zac Hunt pushing the score out to 22-6.
The Warriors needed to be the next to score and they were as Jacob Sutherland dived over in the north-west corner, but CSU replied three minutes later when Schaefer broke away down the left edge to grab his second.
The Warriors scored a late consolation via Dion Jones, but CSU will carry with them into the decider the confidence their defence can hold on under pressure.
"You could see us shooting ourselves in the foot there at times, like when we knocked on from the kick off and then we were offside," Flanagan said.
"But we set our line, didn't give them an inch, locked them out and then went back at them. Defence-wise, I'm over the moon with the boys."
- CSU MUNGOES 28 (Blake Schaefer 2, Zac Hunt, Lachie Wilson, Lachie Balcombe tries; Fin Grabham 3, Callum Flanagan goal) defeated ORANGE UNITED WARRIORS 16 (Kyle Darcy, Jacob Sutherland, Dion Jones tries; Jake Kelly 2 goals)
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...