KILIAN LEADS TUMUT TO A KANGAROO MASSACRE
By Les Muir
HE GOT a returning heroes reception and Dan Kilian failed to disappoint when Tumut went on a Kangaroos slaughter at Twickenham on Saturday.
With Kilian back in the team for the first time in three months, Tumut gave Kangaroos a six-point start and an absolute 58-12 blitzing in the elimination final.
Although stung by a Zac Graham try in the fifth minute, Tumut quickly cleared the deficit before rampaging to an unbeatable 36-6 lead by halftime.
And with Kilian creating his own special brand of football mayhem, the Blues kept up their scoring frenzy in the second half.
By the end, Tumut had smashed the Wagga team by 10 tries to two to clearly send shockwaves through the Group Nine finals.
To make matters even more disturbing for Southcity, Gundagai and Young, man-mountain Kilian later declared the Blues were aiming to march away with the title.
Setting a firm agenda after helping to demolishing fifth-placed Kangaroos, Kilian said the Blues had the team to eclipse their first premiership since 2010.
“That’s our plan ... that’s been our plan from day one,” said the softly-spoken giant.
“I wanted to bring the vision to this team that we can go the whole way, and it will come down to our belief.
“If we believe we can do, we’ve definitely got the skill level, the boys and we’ve definitely got the cohesion in the team.
“I think we can go the whole way.
“Actually, I know we can go the whole way.”
Coming from the player with a town as his cheer squad, it is hard to argue with the prediction.
Even vanquished Roos captain-coach Ben Jeffery is backing Tumut to make a run for the Group Nine crown.
“I think so,” Jeffery said.
“If they throw that shape they’ll be tough beat.
“We’ve held teams like Gundi and Southcity but they’ve just put close to 60 (points) on us.”
In a battle between the fourth and fifth teams, Tumut showed they were in a different class to Kangaroos.
Kilian trampled Roos defenders into the ground, but got great support from the rest of the squad.
Celebrating his 100th first grade game, Ben Roddy had a field day, scoring three tries, while big Gordon Karaitiana grabbed two tries and was also in his element.
Likewise, winger Masivesi Dakuwaqa turned in a barnstorming performance, while Jarrad Teka, Dean Bristow and Charles Cribb were also dominant.
Still it was hard not to be drawn to Kilian as the inspirational focus for the Blues.
From start to finish, he was sensational – and rightfully brought the house down when he scored a try in the 59th minute to push the lead to 42-6.
He was also given a wonderful ovation when he was given a breather in the second half.
For Kilian, the demons of the past are well and truly gone.
“It’s fantastic to be back,” he said.
“It’s been super hard not being with the boys.
“The camaraderie here with the fellas ... what (Jarrad) Teka’s done, what the Arragon’s have done, the supporters, the sponsors is fantastic.
“What they’ve done from the start of the year to get to where we are now is an absolute credit.
“I’m only just one of many but the presence that the supporters give us, is what gives us the energy and the fuel to do what we can do.
“I hope this is our season, and today is a great example of what good footy is about.”
Having struck fear, Tumut will now play the loser of Sunday’s qualifying final between Gundagai and Young at Anzac Park.
TUMUT 58 (B Roddy 3, R Luke 2, G Karaitiana 2, J Webb, M Esera, D Kilian tries; J Toppin 9 goals) d KANGAROOS 12 (D Hill, Z Graham tries; B Jeffery, K MacDonald goals) at Twickenham. Scrums: 8-4. Penalties: 9-5. Gate: $9400. Referee: Jake White (5)
Reserve grade: Brothers 26 d Kangaroos 22
Weissel Cup: Young 20 d Tumut 12
Leaguetag: Cootamundra 18 d Gundagai 10
Sullivan Cup: Cootamundra 21 d Southcity 20