The Tenterfield Tigers managed to secure a win against a tough, fast Killarney side at Rugby League Park on Saturday, in a close match that really tested the players.
“It was a win, but only just,” Tigers’ captain/coach Brendan Minns said of the 29-22 scoreline, with Coedie Tandy marking his return by kicking a field goal right on the full time buzzer to put the result beyond doubt.
“It was very close, too close for comfort,” Minns said.
“We made a few mistakes that invited them back in and gave them opportunities.
Killarney’s forward pack was big and strong, and we struggled to counteract them.
“There was lots of second-phase play with us failing to wrap up the ball. Their ruck speed was really quick, and we were running out of legs in defence.
”We did well to keep them to 22 points.”
Each side scored five tries, with the conversions making the difference. Minns kicked four from five attempts, while the Cutters converted only one.
Malcolm Wightman scored three of the Tigers’ tries earning him Players’ Player, supported by Bruce Binge and Wayne Brown scoring one each. Minns said Tim Kelly played very well and earned three refs’ points, Andrew Gormley received on refs’ point, and Adam Clothier filling in at fullback did an extremely good job.
“Adam did exactly what we wanted, which is great considering he was playing out of position.”
Minns said he’s extremely proud of the team’s effort, putting in a full 80-minute performance.
“It’s been really evident this season that we can grind out a win, and that’s one of our biggest positives.”
Inglewood had an easy win against an undermanned Stanthorpe side, running out 62-2, giving Inglewood and Tenterfield very different preparations for when the two teams meet this Saturday at Inglewood.
Minns expects this to be the toughest match of the season, as it will be the only time the Tigers take on the Roosters on Roosters’ home ground.
(Each club hosts a double-header Saturday this season, but Tenterfield plays Stanthorpe on that occasion at Inglewood.)
“We are definitely going to have to be a lot better in all aspects of the game,” Minns said.
“It’s their home turf, they’ll have a fair few players there and they’re a quality side.
”But I’m confident if we can do things well together in defence and communicate well, we can come away with a good result.”
The Tigers will need it to retain their position at the top of the leaderboard. They will need a clear lead by the end of the rounds. Inglewood has won several of its matches by large margins, putting them ahead on for-and-against should the teams draw on points.