The Gunnedah Red Devils enjoyed a well-deserved weekend off after they finished second on this year’s Central North Rugby Union first grade ladder, and now they will play for a home grand final on Saturday when they travel to Chillingworth Oval to tackle the Tamworth Pirates.

Gunnedah were the runners-up to the Pirates on the ladder in 2023, even though they won more games than the minor premiers.

The Red Devils finished the season having won 11 of their 14 matches in the regular season and only lost three times, but although the Pirates won 10 matches and lost four, they picked up an astonishing 17 bonus points to finish three points clear of Gunnedah who earned 10 bonus points.

Moree finished level on 74 points with Gunnedah, but the Red Devils clinched second place due to having won more games this year.

Now, the Gunnedah men will take on Pirates in the qualifying semi-final to play for the right to host the home grand final on Saturday, September 16.

Gunnedah hosted the grand final last year but went down 25-8 against Narrabri Blue Boars in the big dance.

The defending champs were beaten 34-12 on the road by Moree in the elimination semi-final on Saturday though, which means Moree will play the team that loses this Saturday in the September 9 preliminary final.

The loser of the first grade qualifying semi-final will host the preliminary final.

Meanwhile, Gunnedah’s women’s tens team will challenge Narrabri on Saturday for a spot in the grand final.

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