Waratahs withstood a late comeback from Tumut to remain in the hunt for the Southern Inland title.
The Bulls mounted one final challenge but the ‘Tahs defence held strong for a 35-29 win at Murrayfield
The Wagga club has won two do or die games this finals series and faces another against Leeton at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Coach Will Mitchell is still looking for improvement if his team are going to offer a serious challenge to Albury or the Phantoms.
“It was a scrappy win but winning scrappy in finals is ok,” Mitchell said.
“We are just looking forward to actually firing and finishing off some tries, we probably bombed four or four tries, and we need to finish them off to get through next week.”
Waratahs got on top early when Tim Corcoran scored from a Richie Lamont inside pass three minutes into the game to give the Wagga club an early lead before Dai Hooper's converted try leveled things at 7-all.
Mick Godden crashed over the put Waratahs back in front before Euan Bonner kicked a penalty goal to extend their lead before TJ Sale’s converted try put the Bulls within three points going into the break.
Christino Manuelavao made a mistake off the restart and the Waratahs pounced with Guy McAlister diving over a minute after the resumption before Sam Palmer scored again in the next set after some nice lead up work from Lamont and McAlister.
Up 27-12 it looked as the Waratahs would go on to score a comfortable win before the Bulls fought back.
Mitchell was disappointed his team let Tumut back into the contest.
“We didn’t keep the foot on the throat, we was disappointing,” he said. “Credit to Tumut, they never give up and are a very tough club.”
Given too much space on the wing, Josh Cutteridge raced 50 metres to score before Jock Munro crossed for Waratah’s fifth try.
A try to Will Reynolds and penalty to Manuelavao penalty reduced the margin to three points before Hooper was yellow carded for intentionally being offside.
Bonner converted the penalty goal before Tumut had one last unsuccessful crack to steal the win.
WARATAHS 35 (T Corcoran, M Gooden, G McAlister, S Palmer, J Munro tries; E Bonner 3 cons, 2 pens) d TUMUT 29 (D Hooper, P Sale, J Cutteridge, W Reynolds tries; C Manuelavao 3 cons, pen)
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