Russell’s Review of the 2016 Group 10 grand final

How Dragons expert Russell Moriarty saw his side’s heart-stopping 14-10 win over Orange CYMS to win their sixth Group 10 title.

The win cemented Tony Pascoe’s place as one of the greatest ever bush footy coaches, his fourth at the Dragons and amazingly the second title after finishing the season in fifth place.

The game was played in awful conditions with heavy rain falling all day and later turning to fog, but when the Dragons ran out to warm up it actually felt like they were at Glen Willow with the roar with of their amazing fans, ahead of the final pep talk from the supercoach Pascoe.

You could just feel something special was going to happen.

It took nine minutes for the first points to be scored via a penalty goal by CYMS fullback Ben McAlipine.

For the next 17 minutes it was “set for set” with hard runs and big hits by both forward packs, 26 minutes in the first try was scored by Dragons five-eighth Sam Wooden, which he converted to make it 6-2, the score at half time.

Pascoe reminded the boys that they were only 40 minutes away from grand final glory but don’t fall asleep like last time.

Nine minutes after the break the Dragons had a penalty with Wooden taking the extra two points.

Seven minutes later CYMS scored through Ryan Griffin to make it 8-6, shortly after they got a penalty and McApine’s boot made it 8-8 with 21 minutes to go.

Mudgee got a penalty and Wooden kicked them clear, but in the very next set another penalty was awarded to CYMS and McAlpine leveled again.

For the next 15 minutes both teams tried but couldn’t get over the line or get in a drop goal on the very heavy track.

With only 40 seconds left, the Dragons rushed up on McAlpine who threw a silly pass which ended up in the hands of the Dragons, with only enough time for 2 or 3 plays to get set for a drop goal.

But Timmy Condon put in a chip kick that bounced up for Nathan Orr who passed to Rota Setu and he headed for the corner, the CYMS defence had him but the slippery ground saw him slide into the in-goal area for a try.

The conversion not taken and the final score 14-10.

Hamish Bryant was man of the match for a hard working performance.

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