A HAT-TRICK of tries to centre Zane Rickit helped Wyong to a 34-20 win over The Entrance in the Central Coast Rugby League major semi-final at Woy Woy on Sunday.
The win sees Wyong, the minor premiers, progress to the grand final on September 29.
Wyong football manager Stephen Marks said Wyong was forced to work hard for the win.
It was a match which failed to reach any great heights, but both sides showed glimpses of their best football, Marks said.
Wyong's Jake Lewis crossed in the fifth minute for first points after hooker Mitch Williams engaged the Tigers' goal line defence from dummy-half.
"The Entrance were in front 10-6 by the 22nd minute courtesy of a brace of tries to right wing Matt Nelson," Marks said.
Consecutive tries to the Roos' left centre Zane Rickit (28th and 37th minute) had Wyong back in front 16-10 at halftime.
"The green and gold extended that lead just two minutes after the resumption of play," Marks said.
"Tigers fullback, Grant Nelson, a strong contender for the most effective player on the field, carried the ball into Wyong's left-side defence. Somehow the ball came loose and Roos' back-rower Wyatt Shaw was on hand to secure possession and race 30 metres to score as players from both teams became spectators."
The Entrance responded in the 50th minute when left winger Perry Lebrocque finished a well-executed sweep play involving Grant Nelson.
"Rickit grabbed his third try in the 55th minute punching into space behind the ruck from a well worked set piece engineered by Williams," Marks said.
Wyong halfback Terence Seuseu skipped across field in the 62nd minute then passed wide to put Rickit on the outside of his man.
"From that point it was a simple two-on-one, releasing left wing Jake Scicluna down the paint to touch down."
Grant Nelson scored a well deserved try in the 78th minute and Matt Killick's conversion provided the final scoreline.
Wyong fullback Josh Mantellato converted five from six (including four from the sideline) in another outstanding display of goal kicking.
This Sunday, The Entrance will take on Erina in the preliminary final at Berkeley Vale.
Wyong will meet the winner of that match in the grand final at Woy Woy Oval.