ANOTHER strong start from the Panorama Platypi opens side on Sunday proved the difference as the minor premiers won 26-16 over the Goannas in the Western Women's Rugby League semi-final at the Oberon Sports Ground.
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Panorama shot out to an 8-0 lead in the space of eight minutes to put an understaffed Goannas side under the pump early, but Platypi errors helped their opponents find two late tries to send the game to an exciting finish.
The Platypi women battled through the scrappy conclusion to the game and took the victory and set up a grand final contest next Sunday against the winners of the other semi-final, Woodbridge.
"We started pretty strongly, which is something we've been doing over the last few weeks. Then we get a false sense of security about us, where we start to pass when we shouldn't pass and we get lazy around the play-the-ball," Platypi coach Kev Grimshaw said.
"That puts pressure back onto us. Next week against Woodbridge we need to start strong again but keep playing at that level because they'll punish us.
"A lot of them haven't played a lot of footy though, so that's got a lot to do with it, and they need to realise what to do after we drop the ball.
"I still thought we were in control of the game virtually all the time."
Poorsha McPhillamy got things rolling for the Platypi in just the second minute when she went to the left side and picked a gap in the Goannas defence.
Just a few minutes later Demi Chapman scored on the opposite side of the uprights.
Goannas failed to capitalise on several play-the-ball errors from the Platypi and soon Panorama were in again when Claudia McLaren crossed.
Joy finally came the Goannas' way just before half-time when Alahna Ryan scored, but tries after the break on back-to-back sets to Molly Kennedy and Jacinta Windsor pushed Platypi out to a 26-4 lead.
Goannas didn't shy away from the challenge ahead of them, and in the second half they scored through Ryan and Tarlee Roberts.
The teams traded errors across the remaining six minutes of the game as Panorama held on to their advantage, knowing they'll need to lift for the grand final ahead of them.
Goannas five-eighth April Townsend said her team should be proud of the way they stayed in touch with Platypi given their bench situation.
"We only had one sub today and it was really hot. We thought playing in Oberon might give us some cooler weather but that was to be today," she said.
"We were buggered with that one sub but we did go out there half asleep, which didn't help us, and Panorama started strong and in the end that was the difference.
"It's a hard time of the year for us. It's wedding season, a few of our teammates had babies, a couple of us had COVID and we had no front row today, since both of them were injured. It just wasn't our time."
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