WALCHA kept its spot at the top of Central North’s tier 2 and ended Tamworth’s run of wins with a 20-14 win at home.
Tamworth coach Ross Duncan was bitterly disappointed with the loss after the sides were tied at 11-11 at the break.
A scrappy stop-start affair saw both sides turn over a bit of ball as well as create a few opportunities.
Penalties and penalty goals dominated the start of the game, with the Magpies kicking two to start the scoring.
The Rams pulled together to kick some penalties and cross the line to be leading just before the break.
Magpies winger Liam Richards found himself on the end of a blindside move, crossing the line to even the scores at halftime.
The visitors couldn’t build on the momentum after the break as Walcha turned to their grinding brand to win the game.
“We had opportunities,” Duncan said.
“We had a dominant lineout but kept coughing up the ball.
“It was very frustrating.”
The Walcha forwards played a much stronger game around the breakdown.
Tamworth was missing usual number eight and captain Rhys Duncan as well as a few other forwards and it showed.
“Our body height wasn’t good enough,” Duncan said.
“They would have held us up eight or nine times in tackles and got the scrum.”
Mitch Wheaton was by far the best Magpie but the day belonged to the Rams’ pack.
The win puts Walcha 19 points ahead of Scone and Tamworth in the second tier.
The bottom-of-the-table clash saw Barraba once again polish off Quirindi to stay in the top four and almost cement a spot in the finals.
Quirindi remains winless following the 51-19 touch-up.
Fullback Brad Stanton scored 21 points and inside centre John Carruthers scored two tries, with the rest shared around.