The Tenterfield Tigers launched their 2018 season in style, earning a resounding victory over the Guyra Super Spuds in Saturday’s Group 19 second division opener.
Heading into the clash, the Tigers had no idea what to expect with no trial matches and a new-look side taking the field – the closest they got to game experience was an opposed training session with Mark Koch’s under 16s.
Despite entering unfamiliar territory, the Tigers pulled off a 38-6 victory.
“That was probably the most impressive part from my perspective, that we hadn't had a trial and a fair portion of our squad hadn't played together,” captain-coach Brendan Minns said.
“We gelled together extremely well, especially in the first 10 to 15 minutes.”
Although the Spuds brought a formidable-looking pack to Tenterfield, the smaller Tigers side were relentless in defence.
The hosts led 14-nil at half-time, despite losing a handful of players.
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“A lot of people said that was one of the toughest and best wins they have seen the Tigers win in a long time just because of the size of Guyra and they didn't stop coming,” Minns said.
“They were very physical and very big. Early on, they had two or three sets on our line and we defended and they didn't score.
“That gives the team a massive confidence boost, knowing that we defended our line that well and they couldn't break our line.
“They had some big bodies there and we just kept on defending.
“We lost three blokes by half-time, two shoulder injuries and a head knock so we were limited on the bench.
“The guys that did get hurt, one was our front rower and one was our second rower so we were up against it without those bigger bodies in our side.”
Prior to the kick-off, both teams held a minute’s silence to honour former Tiger Bruce Binge as well as other members of the local community who have died in the last year.
This Saturday the Tigers will head to Bingara to play the Bullets.
“We don't know them but they don't know us either, it gives us an opportunity to go out and play our style of footy straight up and see how it goes,” Minns said.