When Mudgee Wombats winger Brodie Leeson was given a red card just 15 minutes into Saturday’s New Holland Agriculture Cup elimination final against CSU it was sure to have a massive impact on how the game would pan out.
Leeson was sent from the field after making contact with an airborne CSU player who was trying to catch the kick off.
The bump caused the player to land in a dangerous position, prompting the game-changing send off.
Despite copping the early blow Mudgee took an 18-17 lead into the half-time break but the one-man advantage eventually took its toll on the Batties as they fell victim to CSU’s finesse, conceding seven tries before eventually losing 46-32.
Mustards’ inside centre Regan Hughes was arguably the most devastating on ground for the students as he completed a hat-trick of tries in the second half.
“It was a very fast game with a lot of turnovers,” Hughes said.
“I reckon we just got it together with spreading the ball and everyone just seemed to be in the right spot at the right time.”
CSU skipper Jack Keppel said his side lacked chemistry in the early exchanges but came home with a wet sail.
“The first half was really slow and we couldn’t get any continuity,” Keppel said.
“It took a bit of time for me, Regan [Hughes], Lochie [Robinson] and our backline to adjust because Regan’s been out the last few weeks.
“After that, though… we had them in the backs – even though they got a red card.”
The wins sets CSU up for a grand final qualifier at Parkes and the men in yellow will be full of confidence after beating the Boars 82-21 on July 21.
Boars were forced into a meeting with the students after going down 17-3 to the unbeaten minor premiers Narromine Gorillas.