The Tenterfield Tigers men’s side maintained their unbeaten record in the Group 19 second division season with a comfortable win over a courageous Walcha side on Saturday.
In the opening half the hosts’ backline turned on their usual razzle dazzle to surge to a 30-4 lead by the break.
The Tigers’ second-half efforts have been a thorn in their side and Saturday’s game was no different with both teams scoring 12 points apiece in the final 35 minutes.
“Twenty minutes to go we came out and just struggled to complete, work on our defence and shut teams out,” captain-coach Brendan Minns said.
“That is what we have struggled with in the last few weeks.
“We get ahead on the scoreboard and then in the second-half it was 12-all.
“It was just disappointing from my perspective.”
They did enough to finish as 42-16 winners and Minns was impressed with his side’s attacking play in the first-half.
“It was one of those games where ad-lib footy came into its own,” he said.
“We tried to play a bit of structured footy and then a couple of boys would break through the line and then we just had to play what was in front of us which I thought we did really well.”
While they piled on the points, Minns was disappointed with their defence.
“We wanted to keep them to nil and obviously we failed in that aspect,” he said.
“Two of the tries they scored were off kicks and were opportunistic tries but the one other try in the first half was just soft defence on our behalf which was disappointing.”
This Saturday marks the end of the first-half of the season and Tenterfield will head down the New England Highway to face the Uralla Tigers who are coming off a two-point loss to Warialda.
Minns is expecting Uralla to come out firing on their home turf.
“Like I said at the end of last week after we knocked Warialda off, we are sitting at the top now and every team is out to knock us off so we have to be better every week and make sure we can be strong, especially when you go on the road to Uralla,” he said.
“We need to make sure that when we are defending our own line, especially against a team like Uralla who I am sure are going to have structured plays when they get into our attacking zone, we need to be a lot stronger and work harder for each other in that aspect of our defence.
“We need to make sure we don't let in as many tries.
“We have plenty of tries in us, we have a very handy backline – a lot of pace and agility out wide – and I think that sort of thing will look after itself.”