Highlanders reserves eliminated from finals

Inverell Highlanders reserve grade coach Adrian Sunderland said he was very happy with what his side achieved this season, following their exit from the finals on the weekend.
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The Reggies bowed out after they were beaten 35-17 in their minor semi final against Gunnedah.

Sunderland said he felt they had given away too many penalties.

“We were probably a little bit too eager and got caught offside in the ruck too many times,” he said.

“I thought our defence was a bit below standard too,” he added.

While he was disappointed with the loss, he said he was pleased with their effort.

“Gunnedah played fairly well, but to the boys’ credit they didn’t stop trying.”

Their cause wasn’t helped by injuries, losing Nigel Henley, Jake Bierling and Rhys Graham in the first half.

Brad Charter also picked up a shoulder injury in the second half, but still played the final minutes, because they were out of subs.

“That was a real positive and it just showed his commitment to the club,” Sunderland said.

Chad Dunn was voted players’ player, while Tom Davidson won best and fairest.

Looking back on the season, Sunderland said he was happy with what they were able to accomplish.

“At the start of the season we were looking towards winning all our games at home and winning more than we lost.

“We only lost one or two at home and Walcha were the only side to beat us twice.

“There’s already positive signs for next season.

“The guys have shown a lot of enthusiasm and they’re keen already.”

Sunderland said he wanted to thank everyone involved in making it a successful season.

“I just want to say thanks to all the guys for their time and effort, especially when juggling work and family commitments.

“Also to the club, supporters and sponsors who’ve helped us out this season.”

The Highlanders under 16s also finished their season on Saturday, after they were defeated in their semi final.

They came back strongly in their game against Narrabri, but fell just short in the 36-26 defeat.

The Highlanders first grade will return to action this weekend, when they host Walcha in the major semi.

There will also be a women’s exhibition match, with the Inverell/Warialda playing Tamworth Barbarians.

A representative from the Australian Rugby Union will be there looking at players as the women’s game continues to gain momentum in the lead up to 2016, where it will be introduced as an Olympic sport.

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Posted by at 20/05/2018
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