Yanco-Wamoon defeats West Wyalong to keep finals hopes alive

THE Hawks kept their season alive with a stunning 24-20 win over the Mallee Men on Sunday. 

Sunday’s match had been described as a must-win by assistant coach Phil Puntoriero and his players stood up to the call. 

The game started well for Yanco-Wamoon, scoring a try within minutes of the opening first half. 

However, the situation started to look dire for the home side as the Mallee Men came back with punishing force, scoring the next three tries of the match. 

The Hawks pushed forward to be ahead at the break, which pleased Puntoriero. 

“They really could have dropped their heads when Wyalong scored those three unanswered tries,” he said. 

“To the boys credit, they didn’t. 

“They got on with the job and were able to be ahead at half-time.”

The second half was a much more grinding affair. 

West Wyalong spent plenty of time on the attack, but the Hawks soon learned their defence was they key. 

“I thought our defence was really good in that second half,” Puntoriero said. 

“We didn’t make many mistakes in that second half and when they did we took our chances. 

“They weren’t really taking their chances, so luckily for us, it meant we got the win. 

“We we pretty proud of the boys and the effort they put in.”

It was a solid outing for the Hawks across the board on Sunday at Yanco Sportsground, with all five grades securing wins. 

The first grade victory meant the side can maintain hope it will make the finals of this year’s Group 20 competition. 

Yanco-Wamoon remain in sixth position, just one point out of the top five behind the Mallee Men. 

“I think we can take a bit of confidence out of the win,” Puntoriero said. 

“The boys really stepped it up.”

Yanco-Wamoon will be put to the test again this weekend when they travel to Yenda to face the Blueheelers. 

“I think they’ve really improved since the last time we played them,” Puntoriero said. 

They really could have dropped their heads when Wyalong scored those three unanswered tries. To the boys credit, they didn’t. - Yanco-Wamoon assistant coach Phil Puntoriero

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