Group 20 scores four late tries to win Indigenous game against Group Nine

HEAVY CONTACT: Group Nine's Tyson Hodge tries to get an offload away after being tackled by Group 20's Josh Higgins in the Indigenous curtain-raiser at Equex Centre on Friday. Picture: Les Smith

HEAVY CONTACT: Group Nine's Tyson Hodge tries to get an offload away after being tackled by Group 20's Josh Higgins in the Indigenous curtain-raiser at Equex Centre on Friday. Picture: Les Smith

Group 20 snatched victory from the claws of defeat to down Group Nine in the Indigenous game at Equex Centre on Friday.

The two rivals went head-to-head for the first time as part of the build up to the clash between Samoa and Country.

Group Nine looked to be cruising before Group 20 put on four tries in the last 10 minutes to take a 26-22 win.

Group 20 coach Craig Morriss was thrilled with the never say die attitude of his team.

“The boys showed a lot of passion and they were pumped for this game,” Morriss said.

“It means a lot to them.

“We didn’t have the greatest preparation, we had a lot of guys pull out in the last minute but brought some young guys in and they delivered.

“We needed the old heads to come up and it was a great team effort.”

Group Nine took the early advantage when Steve Tracey opened the scoring after seven minutes.

Eight minutes later Jeremy Hampton gave the team a 10-0 lead after the team sustained plenty of pressure from their rivals right on their try line.

Group 20 found their way over after some brilliant play from hooker Jarrad Williams before he set up David Charles to score in the corner.

It reached the deficit to six points coming into half-time.

However it was all Group 20 to start the the second half.

They scored the first two tries and when Tracey went over untouched from close range to make it 22-4 it looked all over.

But three minutes later Michael Mitchell crossed before tries to Troy Dumbrell, Michael Mogliotti got Group 20 within two.

They then turned down a simple penalty goal and it paid off as Mitchell scored out wide to win it.

Group Nine captain-coach Ben Jeffery was disappointed by his team’s fade out.

“The last 10 minutes they got a good roll on and a few real 50-50 calls went their way,” Jeffery said. 

“They come hard and all credit to them.”

Morriss believes it was a great platform for the concept to expand on in the future.

Jeffery hopes it would become an annual fixture.

INDIGENOUS GAME

GROUP 20 26 (M Mitchell 2, M Mogliotti, T Dumbrell, D Charles tries; E Williams 2, M Mogliotti goals) d GROUP NINE 22 (S Tracey 2, B Jeffery, J Hampton tries; H Kirby 3 goals)

UNDER 17s

RIVERINA 28 (J Wiscombe, T Baravilala, W Parker, J Little, M Lolohea tries; J Little 2, J Wiscombe, C Wilson goals) d MONARO 20 (Z Bijorac 2, M Parkes 2 tries; H Bradley, T Stewart goals)