Coleambally coach Mitch Carroll believes the Blues could play a wildcard role in the finals after snatching fifth spot with an upset win over Temora on Saturday.
On a dramatic final day of the regular season, the Blues fought back to win 12.13 (85) to 12.7 (79) at Coleambally, but needed confirmation that North Wagga had beaten Marrar to be sure they’d made the finals.
“Usually when the siren goes you start shaking hands, but we all just went, “Who’s got a phone?’” Carroll said.
“Then it was just relief and happiness.”
The result cost Temora a top three finish, and sets up an elimination final rematch between the two teams next Sunday at Ganmain Sportsground.
Roos coach Christin Macri couldn’t hide his disappointment given Temora led at every change.
“We were up by about five goals in the second quarter, three goals at halftime, and two goals at three-quarter time,” Macri said.
“Unfortunately we didn’t play well enough in the last to get the job done.
“We didn’t play anywhere near what we’re capable of and when they had the footy we didn’t man up anywhere near tight enough.”
Temora were without on-ballers Chris Macauley and Jacob Turner for much of the game but Macri wasn’t looking for excuses.
“They were really good, they put us under pressure and full credit to them. They’ve beaten The Rock and us to get in, they deserve their spot.”
In a further blow for Temora, Turner is unlikely to play next week after re-injuring his shoulder.
It was an even effort around the ground from the Blues, but the coach paid tribute to 300-gamer Shane Pound.
“He’s the oldest fella in the side and his last six weeks, he’s been great,” Carroll said.
The Blues coach was thrilled with the fightback and says they’ll ride a wave of confidence into the finals.
“Last year we had our good form and dropped off, but this year it’s the opposite,” he said.
“Hopefully we keep putting it together and see what happens.”
2.5 4.6 9.11 12.13
3.2 7.5 11.5 12.7
Goals: (Coleambally) N Jones 2, J Painting 2, G O'Connell 2, S Mackie 2, D Pound 2, J Star, D Kenna; (Temora) M Wallis 3, R Krause 2, C Poole 2, J Turner, R Drummond, D Reid, D Ponting, P Walker.
Best: (Coleambally): M Carroll, C Pound, J Shaw, G O'Connell, K Stockton, S Pound; (Temora) S Turner, D Joyce, M Wallis, R Grant, R Drummond, C Vallance.
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