A well-drilled Illawarra outfit has ended the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League team’s run in the Country Rugby League Centenary Trophy competition.
Illawarra won 64-6 in the semi-final played in Dubbo on Saturday.
Northern Rivers held their more-fancied opponents for the first 20 minutes, having a couple of disallowed tries.
But then the class of the southerners, plus the effects of Northern Rivers’ 14-hour bus trip to Dubbo, kicked in, and Illawarra went to the break leading 22-0.
Former St George-Illawarra winger Reece Simmonds did a lot of damage for Illawarra, scoring four tries and kicking nine goals for a 34-point haul.
Illawarra will play Canberra in the final after Canberra upset the more-fancied Newcastle team 35-28.
- Illawarra 64 (Reece Simmonds 4, Ty McCarthy 2, Jarrod Boyd, Scott Borg, Carl Fritz, Greg Reh, Blake Dunn, Grant Smith tries Reece Simmonds 8 goals) defeated Northern Rivers 6 (Chad Grant try Willie Hammond goal).
- Canberra 35 (Richie Allan 2, Pat Clark, Brad Robertson, Garret Moana-Mason, Phil Stonham tries Brad Nicoll 4 goals, Richie Allan 1 field goal) defeated Newcastle 28 (Mitch West, Warren Schillings, Michael Fortier, Wes Tillot, Marvin Filipo, Dean Amos tries, Chad Solman, Dean Amos goals).
- Group Eleven 62 (Darren Jackson 3, Epa Navale 2, Chris Daley 2, Damien Smith 2, Steve Lyons 2, Luke Jenkins tries, Peter Ford 7 goals) defeated Group Nineteen 16 (Jeremy Tickle, Brendan Anderson, Dan Lindsay tries Jeremy Tickle 2 goals)
- Group Nine 74 (Gaven Lamb 3, Baden Power 3, Brett Williams, Brendan Sing, Steve McDonnell, Matt Richards, Matt Hornby, Brent Pike, Chris Maybury tries Baden Power 11 goals) defeated Castlereagh Cup 24 (Brad Pickering, Adam Chapman, Adam Pascoe, Matt Hall, Steve Roworth tries Steve Roworth 2 goals).
The NSW Country Toyota Centenary Trophy and Group championship finals will be played at Fisher Park Cootamundra on Saturday, June 21.
- Toyota Centenary Trophy CRL Group Championship Final – 1.30pm Group 11 v Group 9.
- NSW Country Rugby League Toyota Centenary Trophy Final – 3.15pm Canberra v Illawarra.