ORANGE Barbarians brought Kandos’ 2016 New Era Cup campaign to and end at Wade Park on Saturday, thumping the Waratahs 40-26.
The Waratahs won two games throughout the regular season of the mid west competition, battling to maintain pace with the Cup’s best teams.
Defending champions Blackheath confirmed its stance as premiership favourites with a commanding 66-12 win over Lithgow Bears in the final round to wrap up the minor premiership.
After accounting for Kandos in their final game to book the club’s maiden finals berth, Barbarians prop Paul Rudd said the club was primed for a shot at the title.
“It was good to get another win at home, Kandos traveled well and put it to the boys for the most part,” Rudd said.
“Our boys will need to improve if we are to give the comp a shake in the semis.”
Rudd believes ball control and discipline are the two major areas the Barbarians must improve in if they’re to challenge Villages in next weekend’s elimination semi-final.
Wallerawang and CSU Yellow face off in the qualifying semi-final while the Blackcats have have the week off thanks to securing the minor premiership.
“I think our forward pack was very strong though, and Joel Fahy and Ash Conn led the way through the middle ... I'd say some Waratahs would have sore ribs courtesy of Ben Gosper’s left shoulder,” Rudd said.
While in league tag, the Kandos Tiara-tahs recaptured their pre-season form with a hard-fought 12-8 victory over the Orange Barbarians.
With seven bench players on hand, Kandos secured third on the ladder and a crucial second shot come semi-final time.
The Tiara-tahs take on Wallerawang next Saturday while the fifth-placed Barbies now face a must-win elimination semi-final against Villages United.
Both Orange sides will play their elimination semi-finals at CSU Bathurst.