Helensburgh maintain top of ladder position

It won't go down as their prettiest win of the season but Helensburgh maintained their spot at the top of the ladder with 20-12 victory over a willing Collegians outfit on Saturday.

The Tigers appeared flat coming off a 34-8 round one victory over Thirroul last week and were slow out of the gates against the Dogs who led 6-0 at half-time. However, a three-try blitz immediately following the break led by star fullback Jason Raper overturned the deficit to deliver the Tigers their first home win of the year.

Coach Ryan Powell said his side was guilty of complacency in the first half.

"On all accounts it was ugly," Powell said.

"We probably came up here looking at what Wests beat them by last week expecting a bit of an easy game but they really stuck it to us.

"They completed well and kicked to corners and really wanted to bash us. I said that to guys at half-time and to their credit they answered.

"They stuck to what we wanted to do and scored enough points in the end. They had to do it that hard way but sometime you've got win ugly."

The Tigers were without star five-eighth Jarrod Boyle but Powell didn't let that excuse the attitude.

"He's cruising the Caribbean at the moment," Powell added.

"I don't think he would have made too much of a difference, I think it was more of attitude thing and expecting an easier game than what it was."

Opportunities were few for either side in the opening stanza with a try to Alipate Noilea minutes before the interval the only points of the half.

Wayne Bremner crossed soon after the resumption and the Tigers took the lead on the very next set with Raper slicing through the middle to touch down under the posts.

Hayden McCrae scored from close range midway through the half before Raper's second try sealed the result nine minutes from time. Collegians scored a late consolation try through Andrew Chard to make it 20-12.

Collies coach Reece Simmonds was happy with the effort despite the result after being on the wrong of a 44-0 hiding in round one.

"It was a big improvement, our attitude and effort was much better than last week," Simmonds said.

This article originally appeared in the Illawarra Mercury on 19/4/2015




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Ladder

2018 Hardware Man Illawarra League First Grade
POS TEAM PTS
1 Thirroul 18
2 Wests 17
3 Collegians 17
4 Dapto 14
5 Berkeley 12
6 Helensburgh 8
7 Corrimal 2