Bungendore the best of the bush
The Bungendore Tigers won the George Tooke Shield with a 28-12 victory over the Yass Magpies in Saturday’s Grand Final at Mick Sherd Oval.
The Tigers were comfortable favourites heading in to the decider, after a victory in the Major Semi-Final meant Bungendore would host the big dance.
The Tigers held a slender 14-12 lead at halftime, with Yass continuing to fight with the underdog mentality that saw them topple Harden away from home in the Preliminary Final.
Bungendore managed to edge themselves further ahead in the second half, entering the final ten minutes with a 24-12 lead.
The twelve-point deficit proved too much to overcome for the Magpies, as the Tigers piled on four more points to secure the silverware.
Tracking the Tigers rise to the top
The win marked the end of a stellar season for the Tigers, who had swept all before them in their charge to the Grand Final.
Beginning the year with a comprehensive 48-12 demolition of the Crookwell Green Devils, Bungendore fell to their eventual Grand Final opponents in Round 2.
The ensuing fortnight saw the Tigers collect two comfortable wins against the two ADFA Knights teams, before tasting defeat in a 4-0 slog with Harden.
The loss would be Bungendore’s last for the year as the black and gold’s hit a purple patch that saw them concede just 22 points in five games.
A seven-game winning streak to finish the regular season saw the Tigers edge out Harden in the race to the minor premiership by the slightest of margins, setting up a mouth-watering Major Semi-Final.
Bungendore came in to the Major Semi-Final having beaten Harden just two weeks prior, with the game again being decided by four points.
The Tigers edged out the Hawks 16-10 in another nail-biting encounter, giving the Tigers a week off to prepare for the Grand Final, whilst Harden would fight it out with Yass for the remaining spot.
The win also ensured that the decider would be held at Mick Sherd Oval for the first time.
Yass produced one of their finest performances of the year in the Preliminary Final, toppling the favoured Hawks with a 22-10 victory.
The Tigers and the Magpies would head in to the George Tooke Shield Grand Final having met twice this season, splitting the honours at one-apiece.
In Round Two, Bungendore took the trip to Walker Park and fell short, going down 28-18, much to the delight of the Magpie faithful.
The roles were reversed in Round 10 as the Tigers recorded a brilliant 20-8 victory in front of their home fans.
What a year
The premiership win capped off a stunning year for the Tigers, with the club’s Women’s League Tag side winning the Grand Final 10-8 over the Harden Hawkettes.
Tigerettes star Jess O’Rourke was named Player of the Match, just days after teammate Teagan Pateman took out the Player of the Year award at the Canberra Region Rugby League Awards Night.
Men’s captain-coach Mark Hogan was in contention for the George Tooke Player of the Year Medal, eventually won by Crookwell’s Jamie Boothman.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA