The AMNRL Grand Final will see the New York Knights host the Jacksonville Axemen, after both teams saw off determined semi-final opponents.
It will be the Knights second Grand Final appearance. The Knights having last been champions in 2002 when they defeated the Glenn Mills Bulls.
New Haven Warriors 16-20 New York Knights
The Knights outlasted cross state rivals, New Haven Warriors, in front of a large crowd at their Pier 40 home, The Castle,
The come from behind win against last season’s Grand Final losers outlined the Knights determination to make the final, which will be hosted in New York next weekend.
It was a fiery encounter from the opening kick off, both teams running and tackling with fierce intensity on a humid New York evening.
Handling errors blighted the Knights effort initially, with a number of chances going begging. New Haven capitalised on the extra possession to grab two tries and take an early 10-0 lead as the Knights were forced on the defensive for the bulk of the first half.
However, a gritty response from the home side saw them rally. Tries from league leading try scorer Luke Hume and prop Xavier Lozinguez saw the game tied 10-10 at half time.
The Warriors nosed back in front with a quick score after the break to lead 16-10. But Hume again stamped his authority on the game, touching down for his second try then launching a pin-point cross-field kick which was caught and touched down by winger John Meoli.
“I am very pleased with the motivation and heart that the entire team showed all the game.” said coach Giles Cieutat. “They could have very easily quit and gave up, but it was made clear to the world tonight that the Knights are not quitters!”
Boston 13s 20-46 Jacksonville Axemen
The Axemen opened the scoring with two tries but Boston would not let the game slip away during the first half. With big hits coming thick and fast from both teams and quality ball movement both teams looked evenly matched. The Axemen led 18-10.
The second half saw the Axemen’s greater experience tell in a determined performance. They improved their ball control and defensive organisation in over-powering the visitors 46 to 20 and will now spend a week preparing for their first ever Grand Final.