They showed glimpses through the first round and indeed at times last season, but finally Tamworth seems to be delivering on its promise.
The Magpies are on the cusp of three successive wins for the first time for a few seasons after accounting for Quirindi 54-7 on Saturday to post back-to-back wins for the second time this season.
They would admit it probably wasn’t as consistent a performance as the week before against Scone, but there were some brilliant passages of play.
“Credit to Quirindi. They keep showing up and keep getting in there and making tackles,” Magpies co-coach Ross Duncan said.
It took them a little while to get on top.
Part of the reason for that was they were all looking to score rather than working towards scoring as a team.
As the half wore on, that came, which was a good sign, Duncan said.
“It’s showing to the boys that if they keep their structure around the game plan and believe in it, it does work,” he said.
He conceded he was dissatisfied at half-time.
They had the majority of the possession and territory but were only up 19-nil.
One of the things they spoke about was their tendency to go one-out, which was inviting the Lions into the game.
They were also tackling a bit high.
Towards the middle section of the first half they started to play to their structure, and they carried that into the second half.
There were several hands involved for most of their tries, and as they have been in a lot of their games, the forwards were integral.
Duncan said it was a good showing from the forwards, and felt they and the backs were starting to really work together a bit more.
That is becoming more apparent the more confidence they get, which is in turn growing with every win.
Saturday’s result lifted them to second in tier two and has them primed for their rematch with Walcha in two weeks.
They have the bye this week.
Second rower Mitch Wheaton was their best followed by winger Lachlan McIntosh and hooker Adam Penman.
The first 20 minutes was okay for the Lions but it fell apart after that.
“Our tackling was poor, our attacking the ball at the breakdown was poor and our lineout was terrible,” coach Grant Batty said.
Their cause wasn’t helped by losing second rower Nick Rees to a broken arm in the first few minutes.
They rarely would have gone to five or six phases, and when they did have the ball seemed hemmed in and lacking impetus.
“The problem was us having to do as much tackling as we’d done,” Batty said.
The players were tired when they did finally get the ball.
They didn’t stick to their structure either.
Toby Simkin had a typical busy game. Brock Beresford also defended quite well at the back.
He had to deal with a fair bit of