EWK win through to first grand final in 13 years

Temora captain Chris Block is bundled over the sideline by EWK's Scott Burge during the semi final at Maher Oval. Pictures: Les Smith

Temora captain Chris Block is bundled over the sideline by EWK's Scott Burge during the semi final at Maher Oval. Pictures: Les Smith

Farrer League

EAST Wagga-Kooringal will have a crack at winning it's first premiership in 32 years when it lines up on Maher Oval on Saturday week.

The Hawks haven't won a first grade flag since 1982 and haven't played a grand final since 2001.

It was a Gavin McMahon-led Wagga Tigers outfit that snatched the premiership out of EWK's hands 13 years ago, and now McMahon has the chance to get one back for his adopted club.

The Hawks earned a week off and first spot in the decider by rolling Temora in Saturday's semi final and will return to fight for the flag in 12 days' time.

They didn't do it easily at the weekend as the Kangaroos led for the majority of the game.

The scoreboard was level at the first break but Temora snuck away to lead by two goals at half time.

The Roos weren't done any favours by a potentially serious knee injury to coach Mark Kruger in the opening term.

EWK had brought the margin back to just four points at the last change and it was to be the last time Temora held the advantage.

Marc Geppert marked and goaled less than a minute into the fourth quarter to get the Hawks in front, and teammates Craig Pullen, Glen Stone and Brocke Argus followed suit to put the game out of Temora's reach.

Roos forward Matt Harpley dobbed an impressive set shot from outside the 50m arc in the dying minutes but it was too little too late as EWK won 11.8 (74) to 8.8 (56).

McMahon later revealed there was no inspirational speech at three-quarter-time, just a simple message to the players.

"We said we've just got to trust what we've done all year," McMahon said.

EWK player Jacob Tiernan fights his way out of traffic at Maher Oval.

EWK player Jacob Tiernan fights his way out of traffic at Maher Oval.

"We've got our blueprint, it's got us over the line in a number of games already when we've played terribly, been completely outplayed and we've stuck at it and turned it around.

"We had the confidence from being able to turn it around a couple of times and we asked the boys to do it again.

"A guy like Brocke Argus, and our mids, they really stood up in the last quarter when it counts."

EWK has now beaten Temora on all three occasions this year.

But McMahon is warning his players not to rest on their laurels if the two clubs meet again in the big dance.

"We know how they play their best football but I don't think we've got them figured out," he said.

"It's one thing to know how they play but it's another thing to be able to execute your plan to nullify it as well.

"I thought we did that at times today but at times we really fell away from what we've been doing, and they were able to get the ball outside and move it quite quickly."

It was a good team performance from EWK but the experienced heads of Chris Jackson, Stu Brierty, Ben Absolum and Geppert led the way.

Joe Scott was solid through the midfield again.

EWK plans to train Thursday and Saturday this week but will be "business as usual" in the lead-up to the grand final.