Gloucester Cockies wind up commitments in the Lower North Coast men's rugby union season on Saturday with the clash against Wallamba at Nabiac.
However, Gloucester women will use the game as a springboard for the semi-finals to start the following week, when Gloucester meet Manning River Ratz in the minor semi-final at Taree Rugby Park.
Gloucester's hopes of making the men's semi-finals ended when injuries forced the side to forfeit to the unbeaten Manning River Ratz on Saturday August 29. The Cockies were battling with Barbarian Hogs for fourth spot. However, Gloucester faced a tough run into the playoffs and would have had to down the Ratz and then upset Wauchope and Wallamba in the final two games. They would also have needed other results to go their way to play semi-final football.
Wauchope proved too strong for the Cockies in the round nine game at Wauchope, winning 40-15.
It was also a tough day for the Gloucester women. They ran into a red hot Wauchope side and lost 41-0. Wauchope, the defending premiers, will finish minor premiers this season.
Wallamba will go into the men's game on Saturday desperate to secure second place on the ladder. The Bulls were outclassed by Manning Ratz last weekend, losing 55-29. However, a flurry of late tries made the scoreline more respectable for the Bulls in a game where they struggled to handle the Ratz pacey backline. Wallamba went into the game in second place, a point clear of Wauchope Thunder.
While the result of Saturday's women's game will have no bearing on the semi-final places, both sides will be keen to finish the season-proper on a winning note.
Wallamba beat Manning Ratz 33-32 in a high scoring and entertaining encounter last Saturday at Taree in a game where goal kicking proved the difference. The Ratz scored more tries than the Bulls, but couldn't kick a goal.
All semi-finals on Saturday September 19 will be at Taree Rugby Park. The Ratz will play either Wallamba or Wauchope in the major semi, with the winner to host the grand final on Saturday October 3.