BROCK Wadwell climbed up The Northern Daily Leader-sponsored Group 4 Player of the Year Award table with another energetic display in one of the most comprehensive wins of the season on Saturday.
Wadwell and his fellow Bears humbled reigning premiers West Lions 68-10 at Jack Woolaston Oval, crossing for a dozen tries in a dominant display.
The 26-year-old hooker, a former winger, has made the number nine jumper a happy one this year.
Wadwell puts it down to good old hard work.
“The boys are having a go at training,” Wadwell said.
“That’s why it’s paying off.
“Our fitness has been a big help and topping it all off.
“And we’re only getting better.
“The fitness is helping us .
“ The hard training makes it easier for us around the park.
“Our forwards are working the opposing forwards over, getting a roll-on.
“And we’re getting better too.
“We were missing a couple of players today, Abel and Nic, but Luke Byrnes comes off the bench and wins our players’ player.
“That’s how good we’re going.”
The versatility of the Bears was shown by the fact Ky RuRu, normally a backrower, slotted in at five-eighth.
Halfback Kieran Fisher did a lot of the direction of traffic while Shaun Ferguson’s presence was also a major factor.
Ferguson’s tackle on Shane Salvador to end the Lion forward’s day was low and lethal, a devastating tackle that highlights the former captain-coach’s ability as well as his versatility to play a backrower or pivotal role.
His performance earned him two points in the B&F award behind Wadwell, with Richard Clegg a deserving recipient of the one point on a day where the Bears dominated on the scorebook and in the B&F points as well.
Narrabri’s Normie Lawler and Gunnedah’s Jason Smith both polled the three points in their home wins over Wee Waa and Oxley Diggers respectively.
They both moved to four points on the table.
Jason Smith’s fellow Gunnedah forward, Trent Hilton (14pts), received the one point and that helped him move a point further ahead of North Tamworth lock Nic Dobson, who missed Saturday’s big win over West Lions.
Oxley Digger captain-coach Jamie Trindall earned the two points for his starring role with a side that led Gunnedah 18-14 at halftime before losing 40-18.
Trindall moved up to seven points while Wee Waa’s Brenton Cochrane also moved into firing range (5) when he polled the two points in his side’s 24-16 loss to the Blues at Narrabri’s Collins Park.