Big Bill making his presence felt up front

BILL Jeffery might be turning 30 this year but he’s playing like a teenager.

The North Tamworth prop, a diesel mechanic by trade, has been one of the Bears’ most consistent and best all of this Group 4 first grade rugby league season.

It was about time the burly big bopper polled three points in The Northern Daily Leader Group 4 Player of the Year Award when his Bears beat Oxley Diggers 48-10 in their injury-shortened match at Scully Park on Saturday.

That Diggers secondrower Jason Wheeler was cleared of any serious injury after twisting his neck in a tackle was a comfort for Bill and his teammates.

He and his fellow Bears play it tough but fair every week.

There’s no place to hide in the front row and Bill has been leading the way for the Bears.

“We’ve been going pretty well,” he said after Sunday’s 12th straight win.

“It was pretty good last year but even better this year. I had a pretty good  pre-season.”

Bill Jeffery crashes it up into Oxley Diggers in last Saturday's 12th straight win. Photo: Gareth Gardner  020814GGD12

Bill Jeffery crashes it up into Oxley Diggers in last Saturday's 12th straight win. Photo: Gareth Gardner 020814GGD12

Jeffery worked hard on his fitness over the summer months and returned in better shape than he ever has.

It has paid dividends for him and the North Tamworth side which hasn’t looked like losing a game since winning the West Knockout.

This year is rivaling one of his best when he helped Warialda to win a Group  19 grand final in 2007.

“That was a pretty handy side,” he recalled. “We had Ewan McGrady and Brad Smith. Rolls (Peter Stevens) was the coach.

“I was only 23. I ran off Ewan and Brad. It was pretty good.

“But we’ve got a good young side here too.”

He doesn’t mind running off pivot Kieran Fisher and loves playing with Marshall Barker, another 30-year-old stalwart in the pack.

“I used to play footy with him back at school in Moree,” he recalled.

“Now I’ve got to play with him again. He’s an inspirational player, always has been. Great to have been able to catch up with him here at Norths again”.

Last Saturday’s 46 minute game was “solid”.

“We’ve got a job to do for Spitter,” he said.

“Just a matter of keeping focused.”

He said coach Brad McManus had welded together a good side and the likes of trainer Dave Parsons was a huge help as well.

“Dave brings a bit of professionalism to the club,” he said of the brother of former Newcastle Knights prop Matt 


The Bears continue their Group 4 season at home this weekend when they host Wee Waa panthers.

Oxley Diggers and West Lions match up at Scully Park and Narrabri and Gunnedah have a huge local derby at Collins Park, Narrabri.