Group 11 2018: Westside Rabbitohs, Narromine Jets turn it on in final game

Their Group 11 seasons were already over, but that didn’t stop the Westside Rabbitohs and Narromine Jets giving it their all at Victoria Park No. 1 Oval on Sunday afternoon.

In fact, the two sides served up some scintillating football, including a try-of-the-year contender, clearly determined to enjoy their final hit-out of 2018.

“The boys played a bit of footy there, I was actually surprised by a few of the tries myself,” Rabbitohs captain-coach Claude Gordon said post-game.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

“I was impressed, but the boys, they’re all footballers these blokes, they all grew up around it, playing footy so I said to them today just have a bit of fun, just make sure we’re competing for everything and that’s what they did today.

“They played a bit of footy and nearly came up trumps, but credit to Narromine. They hung in their adn got the job done.”

Westside dominated the opening 20 minutes, getting away to a 14-0 lead before the Jets began to find some rhythm and captain-coach Wes Middleton got them on the board in the 32nd minute.

Four minutes later they were in again as Tony Clevin pulled a try out of thin air.

The five-eighth was tossed the ball on the last tackle and barely held onto it, before spinning away from a tackle and chipping the ball into the in-goal.

Westside’s Matt Naden, in his first game back from a bicep tear, gave chase but he was no match for the fleet-footed Clevin, who passed him to dive and ground the ball.

The hosts led 14-12 going into the sheds, but the Jets took the lead soon after the break courtesy of a Clevin penalty goal and Middleton’s second of the afternoon.

Darryl Cubby tied things up at 20-apiece in the 55th minute, finishing off a terrific team effort that saw the ball pass through numerous hands as the hosts surged 60 metres.

THE FINAL MAKE-UP

Middleton sent his father Willie over in the 64th minute for a touching moment, before Wes came off the field, confident his men could finish the job.

They did – despite a late surge courtesy of Blaize Fuller – with DJ Kennedy muscling over to seal the 32-24 win.

“The boys played really well. It took us a while to get into the game … wet conditions out in the middle,” the younger Middleton said post-game, lamenting the muddy patch mid-field, which could have almost led the tackle count.

“Obviously it was a bit slow and didn’t really play into our structure so we had to adapt and change a few things so we could get some momentum.

“It actually feels good as a coach to be able to come off and give the boys a run and have the faith in them that they’ll get the job done, so I couldn’t be happier to end the season on a win.”

NARROMINE JETS 32 (Wes Middleton 2, Tony Clevin, Willie Middleton, Donald Kennedy tries; Clevin penalty; Clevin 5 conversions) def WESTSIDE RABBITOHS 24 (Kane Ashby, Alex Frail, Brandon Carr, Darryl Cubby, Blaize Fuller; Cubby 2 conv)