Darwin Finals Week 1 Wrap: Pirates, Swampies, Dragons clinch GF berths

Wed, Mar 13, 2024, 12:00 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey

Uni Pirates have one hand on the Dennis Bree Shield after toppling defending premiers Casuarina in last week’s NTRU Darwin A-Grade men’s major semi final.

Second row Waisale Sekitoga scored a brace in the Pirates’ 36-34 win with veteran fullback Robbie Butcher adding 16 points off the tee at Rugby Park.

Click here for full match replays from Darwin Finals Week 1.

The Cougars fought hard with goalkicking winger Trey Crowley (14 points) a standout and will enter Saturday’s qualifying final as heavy favourites against a South Darwin side that scraped home over Darwin Dragons in their minor semi final.

Souths emerged 21-20 victors with centres Luke Hitchcock and Vilimoni Matainadroga joining gun fullback Joe Sorowale as try-scorers while Hirini Murfitt, William Liddy and Lachlan Raychaudhuri made up the Dragons’ tally.

In the Women’s competition,  Elisa Niki’s brace anchored Darwin Dragons’ 36-17 major semi final win over Uni Pirates before Casuarina ended Souths’ season 19-14 in a close-run minor semi final.

Meanwhile Swampdogs will contest next week’s B-Grade decider after edging out minor premiers Uni 15-12 in their major semi final. The Pirates will have a second chance this weekend against Casuarina, who knocked out Katherine in a replay of last year’s big dance.

This Friday also sees the return of junior grand finals to Rugby Park, starting 6pm with the U13 boys decider between Palmerston and Casuarina (Field 1) and U14 girls decider between Dragons and Swamp Crocs (Field 2).

7:20pm sees the Dragons tackle Palmerston in the U15 boys final (Field 1) and Swampies in the U17 girls final (Field 2) respectively before the 8:40pm U17 boys final between Palmerston and minor premiers Casuarina.