Ag College needed to pull out all the stops to make it through to the Southern Inland grand final.
Playing Leeton for the third time in four weeks on Saturday, a late try from Mike van Diggelen proved decisive.
The two teams went toe-to-toe in horrible conditions at Jarrah Oval, with Aggies coming away with an injury time win.
Leeton looked set to make it back-to-back grand final appearances when Freddy Tupou dived over from close range, but Aggies had just enough time to respond.
Maintaining possession they worked their way down the field and van Diggelen crossed for his second to take a 24-20 victory.
Coach Will Mitchell couldn’t have been prouder of the fighting attitude shown by Ag College.
“It was pure grit and extremely mature footy,” Mitchell said.
“I’m just so proud them and they deserve to be there.”
Aggies got off to a poor start losing winger Will Whiteley (collarbone) and fullback Jock Ward (eye) in the opening 20 minutes.
The Wagga side had most of the ball but Leeton scored first through Joe Ratu.
The two teams went into the break locked at 7-all after Pat Lemmich worked his way over.
Ag College didn’t make the most Leeton prop Moji Waqa being yellow carded, however in the second half they started to control the ball.
Wet conditions make handling difficult, but Ag College were able to build more pressure in the second half.
However it was Leeton who capitliased as a Tupou penalty goal and Ratu’s second saw them jump out to a 15-7 lead.
Ag College weren’t to be denied and with fitness on their side got back in front with pick and drive efforts from Duncan Woods and van Diggelen seeing them edge back in front.
After refusing a penalty goal attempt, Ag College paid the price with an error soon after.
Leeton thought they scored when Petero Taitusi made a break down the sideline, only to be called back for a forward pass, but they did get back in front with some clever work from Tupou.
Despite falling behind with just minutes left, Ag College held their nerve to work the ball down the field for van Diggelen to push his way over.
It sets up their first grand final appearance since 2012.
They beat Waratahs on that occasion and the two teams will clash in the decider at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.
Mitchell is thrilled to have worked be there.
“We’re just excited and there is going to be no pressure on us,” he said. “I’m sure people will say we are still too small and don’t have the physicality or the experience but we have nothing to lose.”