THE Lake Jindabyne Hotel Bushpigs have secured their second consecutive home grand final with an emphatic win over the Taralga Tigers 30-5. In testing conditions the Bushpigs outplayed their opposition at John Connors Oval on Saturday and remained undefeated in their quest to glory after winning the major semi -of the ACT/Monarch 2nd division rugby competition.
With the strong winds swirling around the "Pig Pen" both teams knew they were in for a challenging day. Taralga elected to kick off after winning the toss and the Bushpigs looked dangerous from the whistle. From solid structured play the Bushpigs found themselves camped in enemy territory until the Tigers faulted in defence finding wing Craig Dixon (MYNK) in open space to then link up with the ever supporting scrum half Andrew McDonald (Alpine Gables) who crossed the line in the corner.
The Bushpigs continued to entertain the crowd with another three tries in the first half. Some individual excellence from fly half Jake Roarty ( GZ Engineering) was awarded a try and then not long after put blind side flanker Rob Morris ( Serges Cafe) into a nice hole for another 5 pointer. Fullback Liam Pepper (Snowy Constructions) scored the final try of the half beating some good defence with his strong running style to give the Bushpigs the half-time lead 20-0.
The most exciting try of the day came in the second half to the flying winger Craig Dixon. With a touch of luck and handful of formidable skill, Dixon held on tightly after nearly losing the ball in contact with a Taralga defender to retrieve the ball from his hip with an around the back manoeuvre to then go on and beat the full back with some fleet footed footwork to score from 40m out.
The last try of the game from the Bushpigs came from number 8 Dave Akkersdyk ( Lake Crackenback Resort) with a short run from the base of a tight head scrum win from hooker Steven Rompannen ( Vanity Hair). The Bushpigs went a little quiet after this try. The penalty count disfavouring the Jindabyne side and the eventual yellow card to prop forward Michael Needham ( Sponars Chalet) for a shoulder charge gave the Bushpigs a challenge to keep Taralga scoreless. After relentless pressure from the Tigers they scored a consolation try in the dying minutes to give the final score 30-5
Captain Jake Roaty said, "We have worked so hard all season on keeping our focus on the job at hand and we did that well today. We had a few minor setbacks in the second half but once again the character of this side shone through.
"We know what it means to us as a side to bring a grand final back to our town and only hope it brings the same community spirit we felt last year."
Players player was outside centre Josh Shortland (Jackson Constructions) for his unbelievable strength with ball in hand, 3pts Dave Akkersdyk, 2pts Liam Pepper and 1pt to Jake Roarty.
Once again the team would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters for the encouragement on Saturday. Also the Jindabyne Rugby Union Club would like to extend an invitation to the local community to come and support the Jindabyne Bushpigs in the grand final which will be played at John Connors Oval Jindabyne on August 31. Details of the game day will be soon follow.
See you all at the rugby.