Diggers on steep learning curve as Bears hit ton

IT WAS anything but a thriller in Manilla as Oxley Diggers’ tough initiation into Group 4 continued at the hands of a rampant North Tamworth.

North captain Marshall Barker (left) and Ky Ruru wrestle a Diggers player to the ground during the 104-point drubbing on  Saturday. Photo: Christopher Bath 030514CBA05

North captain Marshall Barker (left) and Ky Ruru wrestle a Diggers player to the ground during the 104-point drubbing on Saturday. Photo: Christopher Bath 030514CBA05

The final game of a four- match double header at the Manilla Showground ended with the Bears running in 19 tries to win 108-4.

Ten Bears shared the spoils, with winger Callum Hayne scoring three and kicker Abel Carney scoring a personal tally of 40 points.

Diggers have now had 196 points put on them this season in just two games but are doing well to field two sides each week.

The Bears crossed the line shortly after kick-off and the floodgates opened and they were up 50-nil at halftime in cold and wet conditions.

Following halftime, Kieran Darlington made a great tackle bust before running half the field to score the Diggers’ only points in one of few Oxley highlights for the match.

Another highlight was the crafty kick-offs of Group 4 secretary Mick Schmiedel, who got plenty of practice.

The Diggers’ president was lying the ball flat and toe-poking the ball as hard as he could at players standing close.

Schmiedel probably had more possession taking the ball back to halfway then Oxley had all day, and that was about as good as it got for the new venture.

The Bears were much too big, much too strong and entirely too fit.

For a team coached by a gym owner, the Diggers have a lot to do before they will compete at this level.

North coach Brad McManus was a bit stuck for words after the game.

“There is not much you can say about those games,” McManus said.

“We dropped a bit of ball but it mostly went to plan. 

“We are still heading in the right direction.”

The coach was happy to get back into week in week out football and thought his junior players stood up on Saturday.

“Jake Cocking is only 19 years old in the front row and getting better every game,” McManus said.

“He will be a handful by the end of the year.”

The coach also had praise for 18-year-old triple try-scorer Callum Hayne.

“We have a great mix this year with the old fellas leading these young fellas around.”

Hooker Brock Wadwell was involved in everything and was a menace running one out all day at the defence.

He picked up two tries,  players’ player and the ref’s three points. Fullback Richard Clegg polled two points while veteran Diggers prop Damien Allen received one point for leading around the pack in such a tough game.

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