Goannas under 18s defeat Castlereagh to book grand final showing against Vipers

The Wiradjuri Goannas under 18s side claimed a grand final return after delivering another decisive win in their match-up with the under-strength Castlereagh side in Forbes on the weekend.

The Goannas held calm through an array of rule changes made to accommodate the weakened Castlereagh Cougars and were able to put 38 points over the opposition in the 54-16 victory.

Goannas coach Shawn Todhunter said that while the modified rules had made it hard to take away much from the result, his team were still tracking well heading into the grand final.

"We've got a few injuries ourselves, but we're travelling in pretty good stead right now," Todhunter said.

The Goannas, who finished the regular season as minor premiers and features four players from Parkes (India Draper, Ash and Cass Ward, and Daisy Burns), will now take on the Orange Vipers in this year's grand final after the Vipers downed Woodbridge 32-22 on Saturday.

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Todhunter welcomed the challenge, noting that the Vipers and Goannas had developed a strong rivalry across multiple grades this year with the two teams occupying the top spots in both the opens and 18s competitions.

"The Vipers are a team we've got a really good, strong rivalry going with, which is always good and they're a really strong side across the pack, so it should be a great game," he said.

"I reckon it'll be a close one."

Todhunter gave his team's rivals ample credit for their success, pinning the Goannas hopes on their defensive efforts in the face of a team with an attacking prowess that rivals their own.

"Our defence will have to be absolutely perfect, we'll need our line speed to be really good as well, we're pretty strong in attack, especially out on the wing, but so are they," he said.

"I'm just very happy with how the girls have played all through this year."

Todhunter was quick to credit all the teams involved this season for their development and thinks the future of the competition will be something to behold in a few year's time.

"I'm really proud to be coaching these girls and I think with the growth they've all shown in five or six years or so, this competition's going to be incredible," he said.

The Goannas under 15s will also join their opens and 18s teammates in pursuit of grand final glory, set to take on minor premiers Woodbridge Cup.

Under 18s take the field in Eugowra against the Vipers at 12.15pm this weekend.

This story 'Proud' coach ready to take Goannas under 18s to grand final first appeared on Daily Liberal.