Wiradjuri Goannas book spot in WWRL grand final

Tori Canham has put hours and hours into her goal-kicking.

Whether it's alone or out on the oval with her father, Canham has practiced kicking from just about everywhere on the field.

So when days like Sunday arrive and goal-kicking is the difference in a match it means a lot to the Wiradjuri Goannas five-eighth.

Both the Goannas and Woodbridge scored five tries in the weekend's Western Women's Rugby League (WWRL) semi-final at Apex but while the visitors weren't able to convert any, Canham missed just the one to help her side secure a 28-20 win.

The one miss was arguably the easiest of the day as well as it was from just to the left of the uprights while two earlier tries had been converted from the sideline.

"I go up every afternoon with my father and occasionally when I'm not working I go up and just practice from every spot," she said after the win.

"It's taken a lot of hard work and for years I've been struggling kicking from the sideline so to put in that work and get them from there today was really good."

The victory sets up a grand final with the Orange Vipers next weekend in a repeat of last year's decider.

The Goannas never trailed in Sunday's semi after shooting out to a 18-0 lead in the first quarter.

But, as has been the case so often this season, there was a real lull after that and plenty of errors allowed a Woodbridge side not afraid to throw the ball around back into the contest.

In the second quarter Woodbridge scored three tries and they were the first on the board after the main break but with each going unconverted the Goannas hung on to a two-point lead.

Woodbridge had the ascendency at that point but with six minutes in the third quarter one of the games key moments arrived.

JOB TO DO: Tori Canham's goal-kicking has been key for the Goannas this year. Photos: GOANNAS WESTERN WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE FACEBOOK

JOB TO DO: Tori Canham's goal-kicking has been key for the Goannas this year. Photos: GOANNAS WESTERN WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE FACEBOOK

Bec Smyth, who had been kept relatively quiet by Woodbridge, burst through a gap and broke tackles down the left edge to get the Goannas into attacking territory.

She found support in Em Caton, who was dragged down just short of the line, but a quick play-the-ball allowed Shay Naden to dart over for her second of the day and to put the Goannas back in control.

Smyth scored early in the fourth quarter and while Molly Hoswell grabbed her second from Woodbridge late on it proved to just be a consolation.

"It's a good felling but we've got a lot to work on during the week," Canham said.

"There's still a lot of work to do and our defence is what we need to work on.

"Our ball-playing and everything there is good but there's a few misunderstandings between in dummyhalf and the halves but we'll work on it."

Woodbridge coach Andrew Pull was understandably dejected after the game after seeing his side come so close to toppling both the Vipers and Goannas in successive weeks.

The Woodbridge side has arguably improved the most of any this season and Pull said he felt for his players.

"I'm really disappointed for the girls because they've put in so much work," he said.

"It's a good result getting five tries each against Goannas but it wasn't enough today."

Despite goal-kicking being key, Pull wasn't pinning the blame on any individual.

Nikita Kirby missed with each of her four attempts while Hoswell hit the uprights once but Pull laughed while lamenting his side's style of play.

"That's the way we like to play footy so it's a bit of a catch 22," he said.

"We like to pass the ball and be entertaining but unfortunately we score them out wide and it makes it difficult for kicking but the girls put on a good show."

The Goannas and Vipers will meet in the grand final next Sunday at Orange's Pride Park.

  • WIRADJURI GOANNAS 28 (Shay Naden 2, Ash Bayliss, Krystelle Everingham, Bec Smyth tries; Tori Canham 4 goals) defeated WOODBRIDGE 20 (Molly Hoswell 2, Holly Jones, Erin McCann, Nikita Kirby)