CHAMPIONS: The Waves players, coaches and junior celebrate the A-grade win.
CHAMPIONS: The Waves players, coaches and junior celebrate the A-grade win. Brian Cassidy

DROUGHT'S OVER: The Waves win first title in over a decade

LEAGUE: "Now we want to build on what we've done".

The three-year plan for The Waves president Ash Simpson and his committee to get the team from bottom to top was completed on Saturday night.

The Tigers roared to its first premiership win since 2007 with a 23-20 win over the Wallaroos at Salter Oval.

But they didn't have it their own way.

The Bundy side had to fight back from 8-0 down early before scoring 20 of the next 22 points before half time.

The Tigers were then kept tryless in the final 40 minutes but held as the Roos came back.

"It was just all heart," Simpson said.

"Just shows the courage and the culture and what we've been trying to build as a club."

The Tigers, with a combination of strong recruits and youth, showed why they were the favourites for the title at the start of the year with a dominant 20 minute display before half time. A double to Billy-James Stefaniuk and two other tries put The Waves in prime position at half time to capture the title.

The performance came after the Wallaroos led early.

"We weren't switched on in the first 20," The Waves captain Dan McLennan said.

"We had a chat on the tryline, stuck to our structures, dug in deep and got in control."

The side was forced to continue to dig deep in the second half as the Roos made a spirited comeback. The Wallaroos got to within six points with 15 minutes to go and had multiple chances to level or even take the lead.

But The Waves held on and scored a field goal late to Tyrell Howard to claim the win.

"It was really nervous right at the end, we made it really tight for ourselves," McLennan said.

"Poor discipline cost us.

"Wallaroos played fantastic and that almost cost us.

"But its a good feeling."

Simpson echoed McLennan's thoughts and said he was proud of the club's performance.

"We had six local juniors playing in that side," he said.

"We just want to keep growing this great club now we've won."

The Waves win wasn't without drama. Crowd members went on to the field before the game finished after two brawls between the sides broke out at the end. The first happened right at the end of the game clock before the second brawl happened after the Wallaroos scored from a penalty that was given as a result of the first.

BRL chairman Mike Ireland said both brawls would be investigated with no crowd members at this stage being reported with all confirming they just went on to the field to celebrate the win. But Ireland confirmed that if crowd members or players not in the 17 were involved they would be dealt with by the association.

 

There is more coverage on page 26 and 3.



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