TUMBARUMBA CELEBRATES FIRST VICTORY
By Les Muir
THE monkey finally jumped off Tumbarumba’s back when the Greens surged past Brothers at Tumbarumba Showground on Sunday.
After a bleak seven losses and a draw in their opening eight games, Tumbarumba’s luck changed as the team snatched a 24-18 victory over the Brethren.
The Greens made tough work of the breakthrough success, giving Brothers a 12-0 head start early on and needing two late strikes to grab the result.
And fittingly, Tumbarumba captain-coach Robbie Byatt was the hero of the hometown triumph.
With Tumbarumba trailing 18-12 midway through the second half, Byatt scored a slashing try to allow Kane Hammond to boot the conversion to get the Greens level at 18-all.
Continuing his demolition, Byatt buried Brothers when he scored the last try of the game.
For Byatt, the win was a reward for perseverance in difficult and trying circumstances.
All year Byatt has backed the team to the hilt but they have just failed to deliver at crunch times.
Byatt was thrilled with the outcome and is now relishing the chance to have a crack at Albury at Greenfield Park next Saturday.
“It’ll be a massive game,” Byatt said.
The skipper later lauded fullback Jordan Anderson, second rower Steven Arnold and import Simione Maamaloa, who came off the bench, as the stand out performers for the winners.
Other observers had no doubt Byatt was the key figure in a Greens success that lifted them off the bottom of the table.
Although Tumbarumba is level with Cootamundra on five points, the mountain team has a better points-differential.
Significantly, Albury was thrashed 18-4 by Junee at Laurie Daley Oval on Sunday, putting pressure on the Thunder to strike back against Tumbarumba next weekend.
Albury heavy loss marked the return to coaching of triple-premiership hero Josh Cale, but he could not produce a miracle.
TUMBARUMBA 24 (R Byatt 2, K Hammond, Numiasasulu Tema tries; K Hammond 4 goals) d BROTHERS 18 (C Price, H Kirby, Z Wilson tries; H Kirby 3 goals) at Tumbarumba Showground
JUNEE 18 d ALBURY 4 at Laurie Daley Oval (scorers not supplied)