The Greater Northern Tigers junior sides had contrasting results in round three of the Country Championships, against the Northern Rivers Titans, at Armidale Rugby League Park on Saturday.
While the Brett Jarrett-coached under-16s lost 30-16, the Darryl Rando-mentored under-18s won 36-20.
Singleton hooker Harry Reid starred for the older Tigers with a three-try haul, diving over from dummy half in the first period and then backing up for two more after the break.
The Year 12 student at Singleton High School hadn’t scored three tries “in a long time”.
“It was good to bounce back from last week’s loss like that,” he said of the 16-point win.
He’s a former halfback but “loving” the freedom of being able to run from dummy half.
“It’s good fun, just my second year at hooker,” he said.
While he’s a Singleton Greyhound, he did play the last Group 21 season with Greta Branxton and revelled in a premiership win.
Now back at Singleton, he’s hopeful of more success in Group 21 as well as with the GN Tigers.
That he received the game ball, a man of the match performance voted on by his teammates, made the day even better for Reid.
He was just one of a number of standouts with captain and classy fullback Mitch Henderson, second-rower Luke Smith, prop Mark Simon and lock Sam Fechner.
Luke Smith scored two tries in the first half as the Tigers led 24-10 at the break, Reid and skipper Henderson also crossing with Henderson converting all four.
The Titans struck first in the second stanza but Greater Northern responded with Reid’s two pieces of backing up for four-pointers before the visiting division crossed just before full-time.
Darryl Rando was delighted with the result but was he happy with their performance?
“Not really,” he said.
“We made too many errors.
“But, it was better than last week (loss to Central Coast).
“We did get out of our half better this week and the kicking game was better too, however we have got to learn to be more patient up there in attack.”
Two wins and a loss from their three Laurie Daley Cup matches has the Tigers eying a semi-final berth “if we can win next weekend”.
“It’s a big game for us, got to win that,” Rando said of the approaching fourth round clash with the Newcastle Maitland Region Knights at Cessnock.
“It’s a big game at Cessnock, all the boys are keen and we’ve got a good side,” he said.
- by Geoff Newling
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 36 (Harry Reid 3, Luke Smith 2, Mitch Henderson tries; Henderson 6 goals) d NORTHERN RIVERS TITANS 20 (Harry Siveright, Jack Field, Tanu Nona, Jye Davis tries; Michael Roberts 2 goals)