Toukley shut out Roos to book massive grand final rematch

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Central Coast rugby league fans are set for a rematch of last year’s grand final, with Toukley to take on Erina in the big dance after the Hawks downed Wyong in the prelim final.

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A three-try blitz inside 12 minutes was enough for the Hawks, who were back to their defensive best by closing out the contest with some excellent game management after soaking up some early pressure.

It was a bright start to the local derby, with the Roos shading the early stages as both sides threw the ball around.

But just as they’ve done so often this year, Toukley were the first to break the deadlock, with backrower Jakob Giles continuing his excellent try-scoring form by crossing in the 13th minute to give his side a 4-0 lead.

Before Wyong had a chance to blink the Hawks were in again, with fellow second rower Jarrod Kessler crossing to stretch the lead out to 10.

Toukley has booked it spot in consecutive grand finals. Picture: Sue Graham

Centre Ben Neville then capped off an excellent period of dominance with Toukley’s third try to put the team 16-0 ahead after 25 minutes.

From here the minor premiers sought to play the percentages and looked to keep the Roos out of the game by limiting mistakes.

“The first 15 went really quick, it was just end to end. They were sort of on top, but I like to think that we were starting to win a bit of field position, and then we capitalised on that with three tries,” said Toukley captain-coach Jake Fitzpatrick.

“The halftime chat was: ‘It’s just about defending this now’, and that’s essentially how the game panned out from them on.”

As the best defensive team in the competition, the Hawks relied on that resolve to shut down Wyong’s chances in the second half and close out the win to book the team’s spot in its second consecutive grand final.

“The boys played really well, back to where we should be at: attitude fixed, effort outstanding and defence right where it needs to be,” said Fitzpatrick. “That’s our backbone of what we do well and it was on-point, so it was really pleasing.”

The Hawks will hope to emulate last year’s efforts after beating Erina 20-10 in the grand final. Photo: Paul Barkley

The victory books Toukley’s spot in the grand final against Erina, giving the club a chance to win back-to-back premierships – not that the thought has crossed the skipper’s mind throughout the season.

“Honestly, not a single guy in our squad has mentioned ‘back to back’, and even still today I haven’t heard it – it’s not in their brains,” said Fitzpatrick.

“For us, it’s just about turning up, approaching the year as round one, round two, round three – each week as it comes. Obviously we’re the hunted and that’s the tag that the other clubs put on us at the start of the year, but we just worry about ourselves, get our own backyard right and results should take care of themselves due to the fact that our squad and morals are where they need to be.

“We haven’t mentioned a thing about ‘back to back’. We have just tried to do our job one week at a time and it’s put us in a good position.”

Toukley 16 (Giles, Jarrod Kessler, Neville tries; Josh Kessler two goals) def Wyong 0

Toukley and Erina will face off in the CCRL first grade grand final at Woy Woy Oval on Sunday at 3:05pm.

Credit To Onwer