Central North Rugby: Moree secure second grade grand final berth with 22-14 win over Gunnedah

Moree heeded the lessons of the previous week as they held on to clinch a spot in the Central North second grade grand final and earn a shot at redemption after falling at the final hurdle last year.

Pipped at the post by Pirates in the major semi-final, the Bulls found themselves in a similar situation at Narrabri on Saturday after Gunnedah hooker Matt Hannay crashed over to whittle their lead back to five points with 15 minutes to play.

But the Bulls played it a lot smarter in those closing minutes and were able to grind to out a 22-14 victory, Nathan Porter kicking a penalty with just under five minutes to go to push them out beyond a try.

"A lot of credit really needs to go to the Gunnedah fellas, they really stuck it to us today," Bulls coach Sylvester Joseph said.

He admits he did have a few thoughts of "not again" when the Red Devils got back within five.

"But I think the boys after that sort of experience last week, when the other team catches up, they knew what to do," he said.

"They were a lot more patient this week and didn't let all the little errors that cost us last week creep into back into their game."

He thought generally there was a lot more continuity in their play and they executed a lot better. And most importantly they worked for each other.

The first half was an arm wrestle. Bulls winger Kale Van Dugteren broke the 0-all deadlock with just under 15 minutes remaining. Wilson McKenzie made it 12-nil but right on half-time Red Devils five-eighth Josh Carter weaved his way to the line after a great run from winger Paula Dinauvoli.

Joseph was disappointed by the defensive effort from the Bulls there and did give "the boys a bit of a rev up" at half-time.

Try-time: Wilson McKenzie drives over for the Bulls second try. Photo: Samantha Newsam

Try-time: Wilson McKenzie drives over for the Bulls second try. Photo: Samantha Newsam

"Because they know their standards are better than that, and they let themselves down," he said.

"I think it showed in the second half the boys were really really keen to make sure that these fellas didn't get in."

The Red Devils did go in, but the Bulls had twice in the lead-up held them up over the line.

The result was all the more satisfying given they were missing some key players such as captain and five-eighth Sam Copeman.

"A lot of the boys really dug deep today and I take my hat to them, it's all I can ask as a coach," Joseph said.

He also praised the commitment of the likes of Jacob Cutcliffe and Adam O'Neile, who both played injured because they were short on backs.

Despite the injury toll, Joseph believes they will be better for the extra game.

"The continuity sort of keeps the running in the legs and you don't sort of kill your momentum going into those big games," he said.