WITH nine minutes remaining in Saturday's Western Women's Rugby League opens match against the Wiradjuri Goannas, the Panorama Platypi looked headed for an upset win as they led by two points.
But in the final six minutes of the contest at Carrington Park the Goannas laid on two tries to secure a 26-18 win and lock up the minor premiership.
The Goannas had notched up four consecutive victories heading into the final round match and given they had beaten the Platypi 68-4 last season, were expected to win comfortably in Bathurst.
But led by a standout defensive performance from skipper Zarlia Griffiths, plus plenty of attacking metres from lock Emma Miller and hooker Nicole Schneider, the Platypi took the contest to their more fancied rivals.
While the Goannas scored first via Kayla Hasson, the hosts then rallied.
Schneider had a reply in the 10th minute as she dummied left and dived over on the right and when Griffiths nailed the conversion, the Platypi led 6-4.
Griffiths added another two points soon after when the Goannas were penalised for stripping the ball right in front of the sticks.
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Panorama continued to make good metres up the centre of the paddock, but it was breaking clear up the middle of the ruck that swung momentum back in the visitors' favour. Hasson caught out the marker defence and ran more than 30 metres before finding halfback Alahna Ryan in support.
Ryan, who was dangerous on the right edge throughout, made it a double early in the second. Noticing there was no fullback, she kicked ahead, toed the ball off the ground then had it sit up nicely to regather and score. That made it 16-8.
However, that only served to spur on the Platypi and they came back hard.
Firstly prop Anna Evans charged over following a penalty tap, then Schneider again caught out the Goannas' marker defence on the line as she crossed for her second try from dummy half.
But from the following kick-off fullback Minnan Annand lost the ball in a heavy tackle.
The Goannas capitalised as Cassandra-Lee Toomey crossed under the sticks then winger Melissa Mulholland sealed the win as she dived over with 49 seconds left.