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Rams charge to victory at expense of Tigers

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The Greater Northern Tigers gave away too many penalties in and around the ruck as they slumped to a 42-24 loss in their Country Championship clash with Western Rams at Gulgong’s Billy Dunn Oval on Saturday.

The Tigers started well and had drawn level midway through the first half after fullback Bailey Taylor scored.

It followed a touchdown from Werris Creek’s Harlee Millgate.

However, it all went pear-shaped from there, assistant coach Peter Stevens said.

“We gave away too many penalties in the ruck and it all compounded from there,” he explained.

“Fatigue set in – and it gave us too much to do.”

The Rams scored three quick tries to go to the break leading 30-12 and then added two more after the break to extend the margin to 42-12.

The Tigers did fight back and scored two good tries, one a brilliant individual effort from Jacob Button while Gunnedah prop Lincoln Smith barged over as well.

“When we got some quality ball in the second half, we created some good opportunities but we couldn’t take advantage,” Stevens added.

The Greater Northern under-18s finished their Laurie Daley Cup campaign pretty much as they started.

The Darryl Rando-coached Tigers lost all five games in this season’s Country Championships, going down 28-22 to the Rams.

The side had its chances, too, leading 12-0 after 25 minutes before slipping behind in the second period.

Down 18-12 after Rams centre Harrison Scott scored the first of his three second half tries, the Tigers fought back twice, levelling up at 18-all and then 22-all before Scott’s final try in the last minute sealed Western’s victory.

Kaleb Hope’s second re-ignited Greater Northern and then Jake Clydsdale hauled three or four defenders over with him to make it 22-all before the Rams’ late killer blow.

“It was the same again, too many mistakes in the second half,” a disappointed Rando said.

“We had our chances again and they did play well.

“It’s just been one of those seasons, one of those tournaments.

“We could have won at least three of our five games.”

In some good news for Greater Northern, the under-16s produced their best effort of the Country Championships when they beat the Rams 44-10.

The Brett Jarrett-coached Tigers led 22-4 at the interval and scored two more tries in the first 10 minutes of the second half to assert their dominance in the Andrew Johns Cup clash.

The triumph also guaranteed the team a berth in the semi-finals, on 26 March, but their opponent is not yet known.

“It gives us two weeks to prepare,” Jarrett said.

“They were pretty switched on [today] and got the job done.

“I told the boys before the game their destiny is in their own hands.”

He thought his side played the hosts out of the game and dominated the Rams throughout.

Scone prop Campbell Munn received the players’ player award, the front-rower one of the many stars.

“He led the defensive effort,” Jarrett said.

“They put early pressure on the Rams and his work-rate was massive.

“I couldn’t be happier with his performance but there were plenty of others who could have won the players’ player award, too.

“It was a great all-round team effort.”

Back-rower Dylan Keane was another star, scoring two tries, one of which was a brilliant individual burst through the heart of the Rams defence.

Jack Foley was another to impress.

Normally at lock, he filled in at hooker with Jackson Smith moving to five-eighth in place of the injured (concussion) six, Brodi Campbell.

  • Geoff Newling

NSW COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Saturday – Billy Dunn Oval, Gulgong

COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP MEN

  • WESTERN RAMS 42 (Tryscorers unavailable; Nicholas Greenhalgh 6 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 24 (Harlee Millgate, Bailey Taylor, Mitch Sheridan, Lincon Smith tries; Mitch Doring 4 goals)

LAURIE DALEY UNDER-18 CUP

  • WESTERN RAMS 28 (Harrison Scott 3, Tyrone Tattersall, Jamie Thorpe tries; Nick Murphy 4 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 22 (Jasper Thistle, Logan Spinks, Kaleb Hope, Jake Clydsdale tries; Spinks 2 goals)

ANDREW JOHNS UNDER-16 CUP

  • GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 44 (Dylan Keane 2, Ryan Jurkans, Sam Carr, Zane Groves, Jordan Hamlin, Oscar Atkin tries; Atkin 6 goals) d WESTERN RAMS 10 (Bailey Peschka, Harry Wald tries

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