ARMIDALE Rams produced a stunning upset when they beat reigning Group 19 premiers Moree Boomerangs on their home turf on Saturday as Inverell Hawks and Glen Innes Magpies both registered home wins against Tingha and Ashford and Moree Boars beat the Goondiwindi Boars 26-24 in Moree yesterday.
Glen Innes beat Uralla Tigers 40-10 at Kerry Mead Park, Glen Innes on Saturday and Inverell Hawks had a 30-20 win over Tingha Tigers in their local derby at Varley Oval on Saturday but the biggest surprise came at Moree’s Broughton Oval where Armidale Rams beat the Boomerangs 28-26.
Yesterday the Moree Boars hung on for a two-point win at the same venue as well after the Rangs were beaten for the first time since round 10 last year and the first time the Rams have ever beaten them since they came back into the competition.
A tight first half saw Will Fernando open the scoring for the Rangs, although the Rams responded with two tries of their own.
The final 10 minutes of the half saw the Rangs camped on the Rams’ line.
Great scrambling defensive saw the visitors hold them out and gain a lot of confidence and momentum for the second half.
Armidale president Terry Carson said that not letting them cross at the back end of the first half was where they won the game.
The Rams came out of the shed firing and put three tries on in ten minutes get out in front.
When Anthony Wiliams crossed again the score was 28-4 with just over 20 minutes to go.
“The Rangs started to click and were coming back at us hard but we managed to hold on,” Carson said.
The Boomies put on five tries in the final 20 minutes, although only converted one in the windy conditions to be two points behind when the whistle blew.
“It was a great win for us but now we have to keep going on with it,” Carson said. “When we put it together we have the players to beat anyone.”
At Varley Oval, Inverell the Hawks bounced back from last week’s loss to Armidale, beating Tingha 30-20 in a typical local derby.
Hawks coach Peter Stevens was delighted with the reversal.
“It was a typical derby, very tough,” Stevens said.
“We didn’t play that well but got the job done.”
Backrower Rodney Bull, hooker Mick Hodges and centre Moses Briggs were his best.
“Moses was very solid in defence out in the centres,” Stevens said.
“Luke Thom (halfback) also steered us around really well.
“It was our best performance of the season so far. We did self-destruct a few times but managed to find a way out, unlike previous games.”
At Glen Innes, Magpie prop Jeff Moate crossed for two tries and centre Craig Browne a pair as well as the home side overcame the weather conditions and a gallant Uralla outfit.
Magpies coach Sam Key was pleased with his side, particularly the intensity, talk and solid defence.
Young centre Craig Browne was named players’ player with Jeff Moate receiving the referee’s best and fairest three points while second-rower Nick Ehsman also excelled.
Uralla’s best were young centre Jordan Press, who scored a brillianttry and halfback Lewis Ahoy, who had a busy game with many darting runs.