Having already secured the home grand final on the 25th and a week off next weekend it was the Gropers’ last chance to fine tune their skills against the Dungbeetles at home.
Dunsborough were sporting a depleted side while the Gropers were buoyed with some quality inclusions.
Eager to stamp their authority on the match the Gropers started poorly. Over excitement led to some early mistakes.
True to the occasion it was like a final season episode of Home and Away.
Big name actors, a mesmerising plot but the skills were missing and the fans were disappointed.
The villains of the series (the Dungbeetles) were able to gain some ascendancy with the Gropers making mistake after mistake.
They had many opportunities to stamp their authority early on but opted to take the penalty shots at goal.
They scored two of these and were celebrating being able to score points against the Gropers. If they'd had a different mindset they could've seriously wounded the Gropers at this stage.
With the opposition on the ropes in the first round they decided to jab their way to the bell.
This does not work against Margaret River, they hit back back immediately with three tries to gain the ascendancy.
The Gropers were finally starting to settle into their groove when some individual brilliance from a Dungbeetle resulted in a try beneath the posts. With that converted, they were going into a 15-13 score at half time.
With coach Viv Booker away in Thredbo, he was quite literally doing backflips on his snowboard upon receiving the telegram from assistant coach Rob at half-time. His instructions were simple, and after an hour and a half break at half-time the Gropers had watched Austin Powers regain his mojo in The Spy Who Shagged Me on a TV compatible with VHS.
It worked. The Gropers regained their mojo and began to play to their game plan. Tristan Moore was acting captain in his 250'000th game and won every lineout including the oppositions. The forwards worked in their pods and dominated the tight five. Every aspect of the game began to turn the Gropers way. Dunsborough began to get frustrated as the tries piled on. It was similar to a few of the local groms digging out the sand bar at the rivermouth. What started as a fun trickle quickly turned into a torrent with them calling for their mums on the other side. The final score was 53-13. The Gropers piled on the replacements, with the Tongan contingent once again adding insult to injury. The Dungbeetles will host Bunbury this weekend to determine who will play the Gropers in the final.
With competition for places in the final, and players returning from injury it will be an intense two weeks of training.