Uralla Tigers escape from the cellar

URALLA Tigers jumped off the bottom of the Group 19 first grade table with a 14-point win over Ashford Roosters at Woodville Oval on Saturday.

The Tigers were the only home side to notch a fifth- round win after Moree Boars, Tingha Tigers and Goondiwindi Boars all bit the dust against visiting Inverell Hawks, Moree Boomerangs and Glen Innes Magpies.

The Magpies sit atop the Group 19 table after securing their fourth win, a 34-22 success over Goondiwindi.

Coupled with the two points from the bye, they have 10 points, two ahead of Armidale Rams.

Uralla was on the bottom of the table with just one win but doubled that with Saturday’s 36-22 success over Ashford Roosters and left the Roosters all alone at the bottom of the table.

For Tigers coach Carl Press, it was a an impressive display, especially the first half, where his side led 30-4.

Jordan Press’s two excellent early tries set up the win and gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about.

Big Fijian prop Saimoni Biaukula also showed he will be a great addition to the Tiger pack.

He’d literally jumped off a plane to play his first game for the Tigers the previous week and had his first week of training with his new teammates during the week.

“He was able to train with us and get to know the guys,” Carl Press said.

“He made lots of hit-ups for us and he’s going to be a big presence for us.

“I’m more than happy with him.”

Press says his new Fijian world Cup import, while not tall,  packs plenty of power.

“He’s only about six foot but weighs around 115kg,” he said.

“He’s a great acquisition for us.”

That the Tigers lack size has been one of their problems.

“We’re a team of halfbacks,” Press jokes of a side full of talented and quick “little blokes”.

It’s forcing the likes of Jordan Press to play in the centres or fullback with  Lewis Ahoy such an enterprising half.

Ahoy scored three tries against the Roosters to be one of their best again for a side which had two players sin-binned for separate 10-minute stretches in Saturday’s second half.

 Group 19 has this weekend off for the Greater Northern Championships at Scully Park in Tamworth. 

Group 19 clubs should also fax or email their scoresheets from home games to The Leader by 7pm Saturdays. Fax 67667631 or email geoff.newling@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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