ASHFORD Roosters gave Inverell Hawks plenty to worry about in their Group 19 first grade clash at Varley Oval, Inverell on Saturday while Goondiwindi Boars just edged out the Uralla Tigers in a two-point thriller at Gilbert Oval, Goondiwindi on Saturday.
The Boars got up 28-26 in a tight contest and a game where the momentum constantly swung.
The Tigers kicked an early penalty to lead 2-nil but the home side responded to lead 16-8 at half-time.
The visitors got themselves back into it, with half-back Lewis Ahoy plucking an intercept and racing the length of the field to score about four minutes into the second half.
They could at best though only ever get to level with the Boars, who held on for their fourth win.
“It was a fairly solid game,” Boars president Peter Rice said.
“It was fairly tough in the middle.”
Both sides had plenty of speed in the backs and did some damage there.
The Boars were guilty of bombing a few tries and were hurt a few times for that by the Tigers.
“They scored three length-of -the-field tries,” Rice said.
They came from the Boars’ mistakes.
“We probably panicked a bit in try-scoring opportunities,” he said.
But they got the points, which was the most important thing.
He said it was a pretty good performance right across the paddock but he thought lock Ronnie David and second- rower Matt Lloyd put in particularly good performances.
The Tigers were missing a few troops for the game and lost more during the game. They had to operate for the last 18 minutes with no subs.
Stepping up from second grade, Stafford Riley was great for them in the second row. He got the three points and the players’ player.
Prop Saimoni Biaukula and Ahoy also had strong games.
At Varley Oval, Inverell the Hawks were expected to overrun Ashford but struggled against the tenacious Roosters.
A 32-22 win was hard earned in the end, Hawks president Garry Lavender said.
Lavender said the Hawks seemed “a bit flat after last week’s solid game against Glen”.
“But you only play what’s in front of you,” he said.
“We played for 20 minutes, the rest was real ugly.
“Ashford have been going all right too.”
New signing Luke Vakatini had a huge game for the Hawks, the Maori prop destroying the Roosters up the middle.
It was something of a unique day for Vakatini as he received the three points in both first and second grade!
Ashford club president Mick Lewis was looking at a huge upset at one stage.
“We led 22-16 with 20 minutes to go,” Lewis said.
“But we copped an absolute shellacking with some of the calls in that last 20.”
While the Hawks swooped to win 32-22, Lewis was delighted with the effort of the Roosters.
Stave Akhurst, who travels back from Newcastle each weekend to play for the Roosters, was outstanding, scoring two tries.
“Midget” fullback Brock Hobday was another to star along with prop Graham “Buster” Chard.