Griffith scored its first win since the competition split but it wasn’t enough to move into third spot on the Southern Inland ladder.
The Blacks held off a late comeback from Ag College to score at 33-29 win at Beres Ellwood Oval but Tumut’s win over Leeton means the reigning premiers will fight for their survival against Waratahs in the elimination semi-final on Saturday.
After leading 10-5 the Blacks were down to 13 men when co-coach Nick Gleeson and playmaker Vaea Mateo were yellow carded for repeated infringements on their own defensive line.
However they were able to hold strong and scored a further 11 points.
Gleeson thought that being short spurred his team into action.
“Having two people off kicked us into gear,” Gleeson said.
“The boys lifted and we outscored them with 13 men and came back (on) and kept going from there.
“We probably took the foot off the throat at the end to let them back in but got there in the end.”
The Blacks got out to a 28-15 lead before Ag College narrowed the margin with seven minutes to play.
However the university club couldn’t cap off a disappointing season with a win and finish winless in the top tier.
GRIFFITH 33 (C Latu, A Madden, V Mateo, J Loseli, S Saleopelu tries; S Saleopelu con, 3 pens) d AG COLLEGE 29 (J Grimmett 2, R Wiltshire, C Milthorpe, B Hart tries; R Brennan, B Hart cons)
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