While the competition will go on hold for at least a week due to the NSW lockdown, Waratahs have kept their hopes alive after picking up a 52-10 win over West Wyalong at Wade Park on Saturday afternoon.
With both sides heading into the clash knowing their season was on the line, it was the Waratahs who started brightly.
Shorne Ngu made the most of some early pressure by the Waratahs and got the scoring underway before Semi Rauluni made a dart from dummy half to push the lead out to 12-0.
The Mallee Men were able to hit back with Jack McCubben getting over from dummy half, but the reprieve was short-lived as Kose Lelei was able to push through the Waratahs defence and restore their advantage.
A bit of pinball close to the line after a grubber kick from Mitchell Pettit was pounced upon by Michael Murphy to reduce the gap to 18-10.
The Waratahs looked to secure the result heading into halftime as Graham Levu and Tom Sellars both scored their first of the afternoon to see the Tigers leading 30-10 at the break.
It was a fast start to the second half with Ben Vearing able to use his side to push through the Mallee Men defence before Sellars was able to make a strong break down the wing before passing off to James Girdler, who scored under the post.
The game was put to bed with Luke Koro getting over before Sellars was able to make another break down the wing, and after stepping inside the full-back, scored underneath the post to win 52-10.
Waratahs co-coach Trey Woodland credited his side's defence to hold Wyalong to such a low total.
"It was a massive effort. They had all of their blokes back, and the boys were keen," he said.
" Our attack will come, and we know that, but it all comes down to defence, especially on these hot days."
With the qualifying final now pushed back at least a week due to the lockdown, Woodland said his side would take full advantage of the extra time off before the minor semi-final, which would see them play the loser of DPC and Leeton.
"It has been unprecedented times, so we will take the week to rest and recover, and we will see where we are at in a week's time," he said. "It will be good to rest a couple of niggling injuries, and we will take it while we can."
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