When the full-time whistle sounded on Saturday, parents and supporters congratulated Amy Townsend and said the Wiradjuri Goannas under 16s coach must be so proud to win a semi-final.
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The response wasn't exactly one they expected, as a "terrible" first half performance was all Townsend could think about.
A few finals nerves and some over-eagerness crept into the previously unbeaten Goannas' play early on Saturday and after leading just 12-0 against Mudgee at half-time, Townsend told her players in no uncertain terms they needed to get back to doing what they do best.
"We were going too sideways and we weren't executing the game plan so there was a mid spray at half-time," Townsend laughed.
"Then they got back to the game plan and executed brilliantly."
The much-improved Goannas ran in seven unanswered tries in the second half of the Western Women's Rugby League contest at Orange to run out dominant 48-0 winners over the Dragons.
The under 16s outfit has now scored 156 points and conceded zero in the last three matches and will aim to complete a perfect campaign next weekend when they meet Orange Vipers in the final.
The under 14s will also play on grand final day after a tense semi-final win over Woodbridge while the opens and under 12s both bowed out on the weekend.
For Townsend, who played in the opens loss to Vipers, the focus is now all on a junior side which, at times, has amazed her this season.
"They're one of the best I've ever coached," she said.
"They've come together as a team. There's individual talent across the park and players one-to-20 can score tries.
"I've got wingers who can play second-row and front-rowers who could play in the halves. They're extremely talented.
"They're like sponges. Anything I say they take on board ... they're unreal and their execution for being that young is mind-blowing."
As has been the case for much of the season, there were standouts for the Goannas right across the park on Saturday.
Sullivan twins Amelia and Sienna starred again and scored three and two tries respectively, co-captains Zakiah Jenkins and Sala-Joy Camaira each scored and led from the front, halves Millah Hutchins and Grace Milne steered the ship, and those who came off the bench provided plenty of energy.
Hayley Crowley, Hannah Whyman and Indiana Boreham also crossed for tries in the side's seventh successive victory.
The margins for the bulk of the Goannas' games this season have been lopsided but Townsend said it hasn't told the full story. She's been impressed by the quality across the board in the under 16s and praised Mudgee for their strong start on Saturday, when they had a try disallowed.
"Mudgee absolutely had us on the back foot in the first half," she said.
"I know there's been blowouts but the physicality has been ridiculous. There's been girls in all teams who hit harder than the women.
"Watching the 16s so closely, they're really good to watch across all the teams."
The under 16s won't be alone flying the flag for the Goannas at Bathurst on grand final day, as the third-placed under 14s side knocked over second-placed Woodbridge 32-14 to set-up a grand final clash with Panorama.
"It's great to have the young ones coming through," Townsend said.
"We're starting to really put in and develop the younger players. It's good to see the talent coming through at such a young age."
The grand finals will be played at Bathurst next Saturday.
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