LADDER leaders Kootingal are crowing after dismissing Manilla 66-18 in the lead-up to next week’s big clash with Dungowan Cowboys.
Veteran Kooty winger Jeremy Moss scored three tries for the second week in a row and is now on top of the tryscorers’ list with 12 for the year.
Other usual suspects Paul Ford, Matt McCulloch, and captain-coach Nathan Hamlin all chipped in with two each.
Ford also got players’ player for his work at the back.
Kootingal was never in doubt and had the battling Manilla on the backfoot early on and didn’t let up.
Hamlin said it was a great defensive display that won the match despite the cricket score.
“We have been working hard to keep teams out this season,” Hamlin said.
“Although our attack was spot on as well.”
Halves Ben Williams and Jordan Sharpe were potent in attack and again directed the Roosters around the field well.
Williams had to step into the role after halfback Brett Cloake sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in round five against Boggabri.
“Ben and Sharpy are going great,” Hamlin said.
“They really direct us well and close out games.”
The Roosters take on second-placed Dungowan next week at home.
A win will essentially guarantee a home final and put them in prime position for the minor premiership.
In Barraba the Bulldogs were also setting their sights on the finals as they routed Werris Creek 58-6.
In a similar game to the one in Kooty, a team plagued by short numbers just couldn’t match the big forwards and speed of the game.
Captain-coach Tim Coombes and fellow prop Jesse Phillips ate the metres up against a 14-man Creek, before letting Joey Latham and Luke White do the damage on the line.
Phillips took the three points for his effort while Latham took two points and three tries and White hit seven off the boot and two tries to finish with 22 points.
Coombes is second behind Moss on tries with nine while fellow Rooster Ryan Martin also sits on nine tries.
Boggabri’s finals hopes took a hit at home yesterday as a determined Bendemeer outfit put on 24 unanswered points in the first half to register a 42-26 win.
It is the second time this season the Mountain Men have beaten the Roos and their third win for the season.
Boggy fought back in the second half and were scoring points but couldn’t hold on to the ball.
Turnovers constantly cost the home side possession and points.
Beau Coggan was Boggy’s best, along with prop Ben Haire and hooker Ryan Gunning.