NORTH Tamworth Bears found their growl early and late to overwhelm Dungowan Cowboys 62-12 in their first grade clash at the Dungowan Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The Bears led 22-12 at half time and ran away with the match in the second half as injuries affected the Cowboys efforts.
North had 16-nil after just 17 minutes after captain-coach Scott Blanch started the 11-try romp with a brilliant 40m individual effort after nine minutes.
It was quickly followed by four-pointers from winger Zac Nigro and backrower Josh Schmiedel before the Cowboys could counter.
That came when the Bears were cut to 12 men with Blanch's 27th minute sin-binning after a scuffle with Cowboys backrower Lochie Collins.
Shaun Ferguson was also able to scamper over after a quick tap a few minutes later and cut the deficit to 10 points but Bears winger Nigro restored the 16 point lead when he crossed for his second try.
A Matt Wilson 40-20 gave the home side a chance to claw their way back and when Ferguson's charge was stopped short he was able to pop out a pass for backrower Brett Jarrett to pick up and then carry three defenders over the line then twist out for a determined try. He also converted to make it 22-12 at the break.
Two quick tries in the second half to winger Jeremy York, who had narrowly missed another in the opening minute of the second half, wrestled the dominance back and Norths scored almost at will in the 19th (Josh Schmiedel), 22nd (Andrew Moodie), 28th (Ryan Ingram), 36th (Ryan Ingram) and 39th (Richard Clegg) minutes.
Schmiedel, Ingram, Nigro and York all crossed for a pair of tries apiece with York also named the Bears' players player and cementing a berth on the right wing.
North Tamworth captain-coach Scott Blanch thought his side started well, lapsed but then finished strongly in the second half.
"We did start well but discipline got the better of us (before halftime)," he said after he had been binned for throwing a couple of short punches in reply to Lochie Collins' niggling attention.
"I was really happy with the second half. We pulled our heads in and went forward. Dungowan were missing a few troops but it was also good to see a few old heads like Todd (Wilson) and Luke (Taylor) back for them.
"We've still got a few things to work on though and we are still finding our combinations."
He said the return of Nic Dobson was pleasing and also happy a shoulder injury suffered by Alec Cocking doesn't appear too bad.
Dungowan captain-coach Matt Wilson was disappointed with the final result but his side was severely hampered after losing four players during the week and then watching his bench disintegrate.
His brother, Todd Wilson, played strong minutes in his first game since 2014 while former Bears captain-coach Luke Taylor also suited up in the second half to help out the struggling Cowboys.
"It was disappointing to lose but we did well to get back to 22-12 at halftime," Matt Wilson said.
"We played well and were in the grind."
Shaun Ferguson, Brett Jarrett led the way while little hooker Nathan Maguire was outstanding.
"We've got a core group of players," Matt Wilson said.
"But have farmers and blokes self employed who are finding it hard to play. We need them to turn up. And we have a lot of improvement in us. Just got to get everyone together at training."
Results unofficial and compiled by Geoff Newling.
First grade: NORTH TAMWORTH 62 (Zac Nigro 2, Jeremy York 2, Ryan Ingram 2, Josh Schmiedel 2, Scott Blanch, Andrew Moodie, Richard Clegg tries, Jake McManus 8, Richard Clegg gls) d DUNGOWAN 12 (Shaun Ferguson, Brett Jarrett tries, Jarrett 2gls) B&F: 3 Jake McManus (NT), 2 Brett Jarrett (D), 1 Andrew Moodie (NT).
Under 18: DUNGOWAN 18 (Jhett Butler, Coooper Harris, Harrison Freeman tries, Blake Ginman 3gls) d NORTH TAMWORTH 16 (Jock Ellis, Dylan Walker, Dan Kelly tries, Kobe Bone 2gls) B&F: 3 Brayden Reid (NT), 2 Jack Todd (D), 1 James Marshman (D).
Ladies League Tag: NORTH TAMWORTH 44 (Alex Rogers 3, Kimberley Resch 2, Steph Fullwood 2, Bronte Harris, Georgia Horniman tries, Resch 4gls) d DUNGOWAN 4 (Chloe Shanley try) B&F 3: Alex Rogers (NT), 2 Hope Martin (D), 1 Kimberley Resch (NT).