Greater Northern Tigers men’s coach Brad McManus was a delighted man after his new-look outfit shocked the Newcastle Maitland Region Knights 34-12 in the opening round of the Country Championships at the Cessnock Sportsground this afternoon.
The visitors stunned the hosts in the first half to lead 22-0 at the break.
Daniel Hoogerwerf, Brett Jarrett, Brady Benkovic and Reece Jaeger all scored tries before the Knights hit back in the second period to bag a couple of their own – through Dyllan Parlane and Boston Smith – during a dominant period.
However, when Scott Blanch put Jaeger over with a neat inside ball and then jinked his way under the posts, the game was all over and a triumph for them.
McManus was delighted.
“The boys turned up and took it up to them,” he said of his small, mobile side.
“We turned up and had a dig for each other.”
Aberdeen captain-coach Hoogerwerf received his team’s players’ player while the likes of Benkovic, halves Scott Briggs and Blanch steered the side around for others such as Werris Creek pair Harlee Millgate and Kieren Williams and Dungowan back-rower Brett Jarrett to profit.
The Tigers also prevailed in the under-18s, winning 20-18.
But, the Knights gained some revenge, turning the tables in the under-16s 26-16 and the women’s tackle showdown 26-0.
- by Geoff Newling
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS v NEWCASTLE MAITLAND REGION KNIGHTS SCOREBOARD
Cessnock Sportsground – Saturday 27 February
ANDREW JOHNS CUP
NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 26 (George Beagen, Lauma Vaai, Harper Collins, Jacob Marshall, Chase Morris tries; Tyrese Gordon 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 16 (Drewe Gilbert 2, Talon Harrington, Callum Dowell tries)
LAURIE DALEY CUP
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 20 (Pichai Dixon, Harry Reid, Luke Smith, Corben Hampstead tries; Mitch Henderson 2 goals) d NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 18 (Tyrese Edwards, Joshua Andrews, Harry Hore tries; Liam Browne 3 goals)
MEN’S COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 34 (Reece Jaeger 2, Daniel Hoogerwerf, Brett Jarrett, Brady Benkovic, Scott Blanch tries; Scott Briggs 5goals) d NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 12 (Dyllan Parlane, Boston Smith tries; Kendyll Fahey 2 goals)
WOMEN’S COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 26 (Taylah Gray 2, Nicole Stanfield, Robyn Draper, Rhianna Cipta tries; Ashlee Harvey 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 0