Gundagai team MSS held firm to win the Tumut Senior A grade tag grand final at the Bull Paddock on Friday evening.
MSS had too many options across the field for the Warriors to handle as they gunned to a 14-10 victory.
The victors had trailed 4-1 early in the match and were still behind 6-5 at the half time break, but they turned up the heat in both defence and attack to pile on nine tries to four.
Dylan Cole earned grand final MVP honours and though he scored three tries, it was kicking from restarts that were most instrumental.
On numerous occasions he was able to extract a high bounce that sent the ball sailing over the Warriors head and force a line dropout.
Other to perform well for MSS included Liam Worsnop, Tyron Gorman and Dane O’Hehir, who all scored multiple tries, Linley Jones, who led the way in defence particularly in the first half, and Chris Rose who set up many a try with clever passing.
For Warriors, Jason Webb was a standout in attack with five tries, while team defence was the key to their first half lead.
Ben Mullins took off from dummy half for the opening try of the match and Webb found the smallest of gaps in MSS’ defensive line for a 2-0 Warriors lead.
MSS opened their scoring account when Rose faked one way and went the other to send Jones over the black paint.
It was a fast paced start and the Warriors seemed to adjust to the pace of the game quicker as Kye Lindley answered Jones’ try and Mullins put Webb into a hole for a 4-1 Warriors lead.
Despite facing a three-try deficit, MSS remained composed and started to retain possession with some excellent kicking.
Rose set up O’Hehir and Cole found the try line in the left corner as MSS clawed back within one try.
A brilliant solo try by Mullins, where he tiptoed along the sideline and evaded three defenders, took Warriors two tries clear but the sides continued to trade blows as MSS got back within one at the half.
Defence ruled at the start of the second half and it was Gorman who broke away to start the scoring and tie up the match.
The pace of Liam Worsnop proved telling as he sliced through the Warriors defence twice in succession and when Gorman chipped and chased for another try, and Cole scored, MSS had raced away to a 10-6 lead.
Webb stepped up for Warriors and tried to drag his team back into the match but every time he scored MSS had an answer.
He scored three times in the space of five minutes, though a great try to Larissa Freestone and another steadier helped MSS maintain a 12-9 advantage.
There was a glimmer of late hope for Warriors when Aiden Hartshorn bounded away to the try line to reduce the margin to two, but Rose and Jones linked again, and Cole faked and strode away to cap off the win for MSS in their first tag season.