NORTH Tamworth Bears continued to feast on their Group 4 first grade rivals with an injury-shortened 46-10 win over Oxley Diggers as West Lions, Narrabri, Gunnedah and Wee Waa fought over the scraps in Narrabri and Wee Waa yesterday.
While the Bears beat Oxley Diggers by 36 in 46 minutes at Scully Park on Saturday to continue their unbeaten premiership run the Narrabri Blues beat West Lions 50-22 at Collins Park, Narrabri and Gunnedah had a 52-14 win over Wee Waa at Wee Waa.
Narrabri paid a heavy price for its 50-22 win over West Lions with Jake Rumsby dislocating his shoulder and needing to go to hospital to have it put back in.
West Lions led 22-10 a minute before half time but a Lachlan Cameron try beside the posts was just the spur the home side needed.
It dominated the second half scoring 34 unanswered points, chiefly through its pack, spearheaded by Brandon Tago.
Gunnedah also suffered two injuries to key players in Saturday’s 52-14 win at Wee Waa with Trent Hilton (calf strain) and fullback Aaron Donnelly (ankle) both missing the second half.
Gunnedah led a 12-6 at half time.
“It was a pretty tight first half,” said Gunnedah coach Shane Rampling.
“We played really well though, especially in the second half.
“Our forwards laid the platform and allowed the backs space out wide. DJ Smith played well at five eighth in his first game back too.”
Teenage utility Matt Hassan was a star, winning the Bulldog players’ player award, starting in the centres and then moving to lock.
At Scully Park, Bears coach Brad McManus was concerned for the neck injury suffered by Diggers second rower Jason Wheeler but delighted with the all-round form of his competition favourites.
“We were pretty solid today,” the laconic McManus told The Leader.
“It’s all good, we’re going pretty well. Can’t wait to get stuck into Wee Waa at home next Saturday then we’ve got West and Narrabri.”
McManus thought regular lock Nic Dobson filled in well at hooker.
‘That’s the good thing about this team, it’s pretty versatile,” McManus said.
“Ky (RuRu) played five-eighth last week, lock this week and centres before that.
“We also have Fergie (Shaun Ferguson) to come back as well. I’m pretty happy with the way it’s all going.”
His side has won all 12 games.
Jamie Trindall’s Oxley Diggers have lost all 12 in their debut season.
“We’re still a work in progress,” Trindall said. “We are improving and have three games to go. I think we can win those three.”
On Saturday he had 13 players back up from the reserve grade loss to Norths to play first grade.
“Norths are a good side but we stuck it to them” Trindall said.
“The boys put their hands up. Great of the boys to play reserve grade and then back up. Nathan Bartlett made his fist grade debut today too. Played a full game of second grade first though.”
Trindall said his side just needs to “get through this year”.
“Next year will be completely different.”