UK-bound Magpie flies out with a farewell treble

ALASTAIR Doyle bagged a late farewell treble as Tamworth did to Quirindi what been’s done to it in the first couple of weeks of Central North Rugby Union at Quirindi on Saturday.

The Magpies were too good for the Lions, running away with a 49-12 win to pick up their first CNRU points for the season.

Doyle had a big hand in that, scoring three tries in the last 20 minutes.

He’s off to the UK and probably won’t be back before season end, Magpies co-coach Ross Duncan said.

He was happy to finally have a win to talk about after heavy losses to Moree and Pirates.

“We controlled possession and territory a bit more and put the pressure on Quirindi and made them make the mistakes,” Duncan said.

Instead of having to continually play out of their half, they made the Lions do that, and were able to mount pressure on them.

“It was good to see us recycle the ball and play multiple phases,” Duncan said.

They did fall off their game a bit at times, he said, but found their way back.

“The last 15 we got a bit of a roll-on and got a few tries,” he said.

He said the Lions were competitive at times and there were some good passages of play from both sides.

They just probably controlled the play better.

The backs, particularly, were damaging and they really cut some holes in the Lions’ defence with their ball movement.

“That’s how we were able to get behind them and what led to points,” Duncan said.

“It was a good tussle in the forwards.”

“We had it over them in the lineout but they had it over us in the scrums.”

To go with his three tries, Doyle also picked up the three points and got the players’ vote.

Rhys Duncan got the two and Kieran McHugh the one.

Although it  was another loss for the Lions, they did manage their first points and played a lot a lot better than they had been.

“I don’t think the scoreline reflected the effort of the guys or the toughness of the game,” coach Grant Batty said.

The Magpies just scored a couple of tries at inopportune times.

They scored just on half-time to make it 21-5 at the break. Those late tries also blew out the score.

“It was a positive result for us,” Batty said.

“We’ve treated the first games really as our pre-season.”

“Hopefully we can start getting some structure into our game.”

One of the facets he felt they were better at was their ball retention.

“We retained the ball for lengthy periods of time, which we hadn’t done the previous two games,” he said.

“Our tackling was more resolute than previous weeks.”

Number eight and captain Jake Cameron topped the points with three followed by centre Will Pearce and winger Sam Lehmann.

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