A broken jaw to Uralla utility Ethan Calliess soured a two-point win for the Tigers against the Guyra Super Spuds on Saturday.
In a courageous display reminisce of John Sattler’s efforts in the 1977 grand final, Calliess’ jaw was broken in the first-half but he continued to play out the match before being flown to John Hunter Hospital to have surgery.
“I don't think he will play again, he bought a house and was already worried about getting hurt,” Uralla captain-coach Josh Clark said.
“He is definitely out for six weeks anyway with plates in his mouth but I don't think he will play again.
“It is a big loss for our team because he is a real goer, never gives up, he has a massive heart.
“We will definitely miss him.”
Though they lost Calliess, Uralla won the match as two of Group 19 second division’s in form sides went head-to-head.
It was the visitors who took an early 10-nil lead via tries to Brad Waters and Rodney Bull before Uralla hit back with three tries to claim an 18-10 lead at half-time.
The opening stages of the second session saw a 12-man Guyra hit back with a four-pointer to Ben Vidler.
Uralla extended their lead late to 24-16 in the half but Guyra managed to get within two points with just minutes left on the clock through a converted try to Brock Laybutt.
The Tigers held on to take a 24-22 win.
“We defended for long periods of time and held them out through sheer determination,” Clark said.
“They [Guyra] started off pretty well, we just dropped some early ball.
“Our attack wasn't great but our defence was just holding them out.
“They threw everything they had at us, the game got a little bit heated which helped us a bit.”
In the league tag Uralla continued their winning run against the Spudettes.
Guyra turned up with only one reserve on the bench while the Tigers had a full contingent.
Despite Guyra putting in their best effort of the season, Uralla notched up a 34-6 win.
Tigers’ coach Kerry Brett said it was a below par performance by his team.
“It was certainly not their best and I think they acknowledged that as well,” he said.
“Nothing against Guyra, they have improved but we didn't play all that well.
“In some patches there was some brilliant play and some lazy play straight after it.”
Uralla’s next fixture is against the Bullets in Bingara on June 16.
“We got to lift it [the intensity] up,” Brett said.
“Bingara is going to be good, from all accounts they are improving and playing some good footy. If we play like last week it mightn't be an easy game at all.”