MOREE Boomerangs handed Glen Innes a six-try thrashing on Saturday to confirm their short-priced favourite status in the Group 19 title race.
The Boomies’ win was based on an exceptional defensive effort, with the visitors running out 36-nil winners in the top-of-the-table clash at Glen Innes’ Kerry Mead Park after leading 18-0 at halftime.
Long renowned for their ability to score tries from anywhere on the field, the Boomies’ 2014 version showed they can still do that, with four of their tries starting from deep in their own territory but it was the quality of their defensive effort that really impressed.
Glen made plenty of half- breaks and for long periods in both halves no points were added by either side but, whenever they did breach the line, Moree recovered almost instantly and Glen had no gaps to run through.
Boomerangs coach Chris Binge said his side had not put two good halves of football together this season – until Saturday.
“We’ve worked towards this from the start of the season and it finally came together,” Binge said.
“It’s hard to single anyone out.
“All 17 stood up and did their job.
“Our defence was good and keeping them to zero was pretty good.
“It was a big goal we spoke about at half-time, getting a shut-out.
“I can’t remember the last time they were kept to zero at home.
Magpie coach Sam Key said the Boomerangs’ defence was outstanding.
“Their line speed in defence was intimidating and then they were able to score tries from well in their end, often from our dropped ball,” he said.
“I don’t think they’re 36 points better than us but that’s what they can do.”
The Boomies didn’t have a bad player but big prop Toby Key was outstanding.
Time and again he broke through with powerful runs and proved difficult to catch with surprising speed for such a big man.
He also tackled strongly.
Second-rowers Luke Raveneau and Mundarra Weldon were strong throughout while halfback Jamie Sampson, five-eighth Will Fernando and prop Warren Cain also had excellent games.
Glen Innes also had some fine performers, amongst them hooker Jamie Watts who never stopped trying, centre Jock Waters who carried the ball strongly, fullback Ben Lonergan, half Nick Say while forwards Jeff Moate, Adam McPhillips and Matt Crowhurst tried hard all game.