Group 20 rugby league
THE scoreboard might suggest otherwise but TLU under 18s coach Hamana Amoamo has described yesterday's big 58-0 preliminary final win over Darlington-Point Coleambally as a hard slog.
The Sharks did not have it all their way on their home turf in the 10-tries-to-zero rout of the Roosters, which secured them a crack at grand final glory against the Bidgee Hurricanes on Sunday.
Having failed twice against DPC this season, TLU turned the tables with a dazzling performance led by workhorse lock Kieran Fair, front-rower Troy Barby and wide man Tyrone Johnstone, who snared a hat-trick.
But a modest Amoamo paid tribute to the Point's gritty effort in defence, even though the visiting side were kept scoreless and let in a swathe of tries.
"That score doesn't say how hard that game was," he said.
"They're a good, strong, physical side and we haven't beaten them all year.
"That's the first time.
"They've got a very powerful pack, some great defenders, a talent in Billy Robb - but the bounce of the ball probably went our way today, and we got away in the last 15 minutes."
The win comes at a cost for TLU with Johnstone (knee) and Barby (sternum) likely to undergo MRI scans this week to determine if they will be fit to play the Hurricanes.
Johnstone's troublesome knee played up as he scored his third try of the match, aggrivating the injury in the movement.
Josh Smith, who didn't play yesterday, is also in doubt for the grand final.
"I don't know how much I can take out of this game," Amoamo said.
"Bidgee's 18s are the form team of the comp and they've got strikepower all over the park and on the bench.
"They've got 12 Bidgee Bulls representatives that's the best in the Riverina and Canberra."
The result puts an end to DPC's season and comes after the side finished third on the ladder and won its first final against TLU only to fall in consecutive weeks to each of the eventual grand final teams.