TAMWORTH jumped up to second spot in tier two with an eight try romp against Quirindi at Tamworth Rugby Park on Saturday.
The Magpies had too much strikepower for the Lions, running out 54-7 victors.
Combined with Walcha’s 49-21 win over Scone in the other game, it elevated the Magpies to second.
The Rams sit at the top and were again impressive, especially in the backs.
That was where they really tore the Brumbies apart.
In Tamworth it was the forwards that really provided the impetus.
It was on the back of their effort that the Magpies led 19-nil at half-time.
They should have been up by more but bungled a few chances – some through mistakes, some through a bit of over eagerness to score.
“Early in the game they were all looking to score the try, rather than looking to score as a team,” Magpies co-coach Ross Duncan said.
As a result it took them until mid-way through the first half to find the tryline.
But just as it was starting to look like Harry Veitch’s try might provide their only points for the half, the Magpies crossed twice in the space of a couple of minutes.
Prop Daniel Crockatt was driven over for the first.
Virtually from the kick-off they were in again with second rower Mitch Wheaton finishing off a swift raid that started back in their half.
Spreading it wide they found number eight – and chief tryscorer – Rhys Duncan floating out on the wing. He made a strong run then turned the ball inside to Veitch. His offload to Adam Penman went to ground but the Magpies managed to retain possession and a couple of plays later Wheaton found a bit of space and stretched out.
It gave the Magpies a bit more value for their efforts in the first half and a lift heading into the break.
Their intent was clear from early on in the second half with Wheaton crossing for his second only a couple of minutes in.
They seemed to really find their rhythm in the second half and the points came.
There were still a few silly moments but it was a lot more clinical with the forwards and backs linking in well together.
The forwards really paved the way and their dominance was rewarded midway through the second half with a penalty try after the Lions pulled down a maul.
“Once the forwards got on top the backs got a bit more room and a bit more confidence,” Duncan said.
It was another brutal scoreline for the Lions but as they have done all season they never gave up.
They were eventually rewarded with prop Angus Fraser crashing over after a rare period of sustained pressure.
But it offered little consolation, especially for coach Grant Batty.
“It was disappointing,” Batty said.
“I thought we would have put up a better showing.”
“The first 20 minutes was fine. It was the period after 20 minutes that caused us grief.”