Magpies win do-or-die battle against Rams

All over: The Rams tried hard all afternoon but were outclassed by the composed and experienced Magpies

All over: The Rams tried hard all afternoon but were outclassed by the composed and experienced Magpies

Thirlmere and Picton will do battle in the Group 6 Rugby League Grand Final after the Magpies completed a comprehensive win over the Camden Rams on Sunday afternoon.

Picton was in control throughout the 80 minutes at Victoria Park, with a large and vocal home crowd behind them, as they cruised to a 36-10 win over their arch-rivals.

The Magpies and Rams really felt each other out in the opening 10 minutes, with only an Anthony Provost penalty goal separating the sides early on, with neither really gaining ascendancy over the other as they battled for possession and territory.

However, the game came to life after the opening 20 minutes, when Picton's Steven Dengate scored a try to give Picton an 8-0 lead. Immediately after that, flying winger Joey Peato scored the first of his daily double, with a 100m intercept try, where no Camden defenders were able to get remotely close to the outside back.

Suddenly Picton led 14-0, and the game was slipping away from the Rams. But they weren't about to roll over though, as they fought to keep the margin at 14 points, which was the case at halftime.

Camden kept Picton scoreless for for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but they couldn't hold on any longer, as Nathan Davis, the big Picton winger, crashed over to extend the lead to 20-0.

That try kicked Camden into life and they responded with two quick tries. Firstly from Jackson Willis, and then from hooker Ben Quinlan and suddenly the scoreboard read 20-10.

However, veteran backrower Alex Peters fixed the situation with a try as the Magpies clawed back their margin to 14 points.

The game was put to bed in the final 10 minutes of the match, when Picton five eighth Daniel Payne scored a deserved try, before Peato's second with seven minutes remaining sealed the win 36-10 to the Magpies.

To Camden's credit, they tried all afternoon, but were just outclassed by the composed Picton side.

Thirlmere had some spies at Victoria Park, and no doubt would have been taking some notes from today's match, ahead of their derby decider next weekend. The Roosters had the weekend off ahead of their trip to Campbelltown Stadium.

Picton will be hoping the regular football across the finals will serve them well, as their key players will be match-hardened, unlike the Roosters, who have played just one match in four weeks into the game next Sunday afternoon.

All the talk will count for little come 3.15pm next Sunday, when the Roosters and Magpies will fight for the Norman L Day Cup and title of 2019 Premiers.