Tigers getting cosy
Illawarra Mercury 30/06/2014
Helensburgh consolidated their place at the top of the Illawarra Coal League ladder with a convincing 40-14 win over Collegians at a wind-blown Rex Jackson Oval on Sunday.
The Tigers never really got out of second gear against a Collies side that was brave but missing too many class players to challenge the competition leaders.
The Dogs lost Fijian rep hooker Jimmy Storer to a blood infection before the match and skipper Jarrod Thompson hobbled from the field midway through the first half with a badly corked thigh.
The Tigers showed little mercy, running in seven tries in a polished display which sees them two points clear at the top of the table as they head into the final round of the competition.
"It was tough after two weeks off," coach Ryan Powell said.
"We haven't trained, we haven't done anything for two weeks so we knew we'd be a bit underdone but we needed to rest our bodies as well.
"The way they responded to get back into the grind in these conditions was pretty pleasing."
The Tigers opened the scoring through Wayne Bremner after 10 minutes when he finished off an Eamon Hillen long ball for a 6-0 lead.
Back-rower Rhian Gerard added his name to the scorer's list minutes later crossing from close range to extend the lead to 12-0.
The Dogs hit-back through centre Alipate Noilea, who appeared the only genuine threat to the Tigers line all the afternoon, before Blake Phillips kicked the Tigers ahead to 16-4.
Bremner scored his second try from a Jarrod Boyle kick to give the Tigers a 22-4 lead at the break.
Captain Steve McCallum barged over from close to the line immediately after resumption to take the lead to 28-4.
The result was beyond doubt before an 80-metre effort from Jordan Tencate put the exclamation point on the result.
Tries to Blake Williamson and a second to Noilea on full-time added respectability to the score at 40-14.
Collies coach Reece Simmonds praised his side for their bravery but said they were too slow out of the blocks to cause an upset.
"I thought the boys tried hard. They were brave but in the first half we made 130 tackles and they made 50," Simmonds said.
"We needed a good start but they had all the ball and got repeat sets and and completed their sets.
"They had 23 sets to our 13 so it was just weight of possession.
"Our guys didn't give up. Our attitude was far better today, it was a big improvement, but we just weren't good enough against a good team like the Burgh."