WEE Waa captain coach Brenton Cochrane launched into contention for The Northern Daily Leader Group 4 Best and Fairest Award in Sunday’s come-from-behind win against Moree as North Tamworth Bear prop Kye Ru Ru celebrated his 31st birthday in style with his first B&F points of the season in his side’s 22-18 win over West Lions.
Narrabri’s Peter Wenner also moved up the Player of the Year ladder with a three-point haul in his side’s slashing 64-16 win over Gunnedah at Gunnedah.
Wenner joined Chris Hunt, Matt Freeman and Shane Wadwell on six points, six adrift of leader Sean Russ.
Cochrane sits just two points behind the Blues pivot after he snared four tries in a brilliant display in his side’s 58-26 win over Moree at Wee Waa.
“It was a pretty good day all round,” Cochrane said.
“We did well.”
His four tries came from “backing up the forwards”.
“They created good go-forward for us to finish off.”
Moree started well to post two early tries but the Panthers, as they have done all season, finished strongly with Cochrane capitalising.
At Scully Park, Ru Ru celebrated his 31st birthday perfectly, the North Tamworth prop winning his first B&F points of the season as well as the Bear players’ player award in their 22-18 upset of the previously unbeaten Lions.
Originally from Gisborne on NZ’s North Island east coast, Ru Ru had been in Brisbane for 12 years before relocating to Tamworth with his partner.
“She’s a Kootingal girl. She was pregnant and wanted to come home,” Ru Ru told The Leader.
It proved to be a big bonus for the Bears as the hard-working prop has fitted in famously with the Bears.
A concreter, he and his partner also have been blessed with four-month- old Malaky.
So Saturday’s three-point game continues Ru Ru’s brilliant season.
“I’m really enjoying it – the boys are awesome,” he said.
“We all get along and we are starting to play well.
“The last two games we’ve really started to get better.”
He and fellow prop Tim Fenwick bookended the B&F points with bouncy little West hooker Ben Crowley splitting the pair.
Crowley’s two points elevated him to eight points and a share of seventh with North Tamworth playmaker Mick Watton (8pts) while Fenwick moved up to 10 with teammate and centre Andrew Moodie, Cochrane and Moree’s Marshall Barker, who also polled the one point in his side’s loss to Wee Waa.