GUNNEDAH’S backs sizzled as the Red Devils claimed outright fifth on the table with a 52-point win over Barraba at Barraba on Saturday.
The Red Devils racked up their second 50-plus point win in as many weeks, beating the Rams 78-26.
It saw them jump a win clear of Inverell, who went down to Narrabri 30-13 at Dangar Park.
The win elevated the Blue Boars to the top of the table but was a lot harder to achieve than the scoreline indicates.
They led by just four at half-time and only after scoring a converted try on the bell.
In the other game, Walcha accounted for Quirindi 28-17 to notch its first win of the season.
At Barraba, the Red Devils picked up where they left off against Quirindi last week.
“It was a very good win at Barraba,” Red Devils co-coach Tim Walsh.
They haven’t found it the easiest place to win.
“We played very well,” Walsh said.
They were dominant pretty much everywhere, he said.
It started up front. The scrum was dominant and they made a lot of metres with forwards running close to the breakdown.
“The pick and drive game was good,” Walsh said.
That sucked the Rams’ defenders in and really opened up the space out wide.
“We were too quick for them out wide,” he said.
The likes of James Perrett, Zac Newcombe, Keeghan Loughrey and Scott Mitchell “cut loose”.
“We scored a few 50m tries in the first half,” Walsh said.
There were still a few errors and Walsh and Nik Hannaford weren’t that happy withconceding 26 points.
Two of the tries came late in the game and when they’d emptied out the bench, which may have contributed to that, but it’s something they won’t want to repeat.
Perrett picked up the three points, Jeremy Brown the two and Cameron Kesby the one.
Rams coach Ben Crowley also alluded to the Red Devils’ forwards.
“They had some good forwards,” he said.
“They got through pretty well in the middle.”
Breakaway Tom Clear was everywhere and topped the points.
Will Robinson was also good up front, and Chris Sweeney at five-eighth, Crowley said.