Bottrell Blacks Make the 2015 Grand Final

Bottrell Blacks Make the 2015 Grand Final

The Maitland Blacks will vie for their third title in four seasons when they contest the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union second grade grand final.
The Blacks eased past defending champions Southern Beaches 34-3 in Saturday’s preliminary final at No.2 Sportsground and now have the chance to continue the success of recent seasons when they tackle minor premiers Wanderers at the same venue this weekend.

The Blacks fell one short of last year’s decider, but were crowned major premiers in 2012 and 2013, which

gave the club it’s 13th trophy in that grade.

But to snare the silverware once more, Blacks second grade coach Mick Hickling said his side would have to deliver a repeat performance.

“It was a very satisfying win,” he said.

“With the ball we were patient and took the opportunities when they ­presented themselves, and defensively we kept moving forward at speed and tackled low.

“We need to be defensively strong, play field position and hopefully create a bit of scoreboard pressure.”

Hickling will take an unchanged line-up into the top-two showdown, which includes an experienced bench.

The mentor said the Blacks’ best performers on Saturday were breakaway Alastair Fraser and centres Joe Lavis and Sam Enright.

Five-eighth Ryan McCormack scored one of Maitland’s five tries and kicked three conversions for a personal tally of 11 points.

Fullback Alex Tupou, winger Pat Armstrong and substitutes Adam McCarthy and Steve Belcher also crossed the stripe for the Blacks.

Lavis kicked a field goal in the ­closing stages.

They had led 14-3 at half-time.

It came a fortnight after Maitland were beaten 24-23 by the same Southern Beaches outfit with two tries either side of full-time and a week after defeating Hamilton on the bell in the minor semi-final.

In other preliminary final results from Saturday, minor premiers the Hamilton Hawks demolished The Waratahs 47-9 in first grade.

Merewether Carlton won colts and thirds against University (33-17) and Hamilton (19-14) respectively.

This means the Greens will be ­represented twice at Saturday’s grand finals and the Hawks will also try to prevent Wanderers from a clean sweep of all four grades.

Play from 10.05am.


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