The Thirlmere Roosters have made a statement ahead of their 2016 Group Six Rugby League finals campaign, with a 54-0 drubbing of The Oaks Tigers on Sunday afternoon, reports MIKE SHEAN.
The Round 16 matchup, at Dudley Chesham Oval, The Oaks, was expected to be a close affair, with Thirlmere starting as slight favourites, as The Oaks had several players returning from injury.
However once the opening whistle was blown all form was thrown out the window, with the Roosters running riot over a disappointing Tigers outfit.
Thirlmere winger Riley Nairn had a field day, scoring four tries himself, and was involved in several others.
Nairn opened the scoring inside the first five minutes, in what was an ominous warning for the home side. Centre Josh Bryant, who caused havoc all afternoon, added another touchdown five minutes later, and suddenly the Roosters led 10-0 and were pacing the clock.
Matthew Brasington, who was returning from injury for The Oaks, came off the bench, and barely lasted a matter of minutes in the first half, before appearing to suffer another knee injury.
On top of that, centre Hamish Oxley appeared to suffer an ankle injury in the opening minutes, and didn’t return to the field, leaving the already struggling Tigers with limited numbers.
The Tigers were forced to make many more tackles, and had little possession in the opening 20 minutes.
On the other hand, the Roosters were in complete control of the match, with territory and repeat sets being high for the visitors.
Jacob Loko, who was another of the better players for Thirlmere, scored after 25 minutes, and the floodgates opened in a nine minute period for the Roosters. Backrower Jack Ledbrook also scored, before winger BJ Ruttley bagged a double, bookending the second for Nairn.
Ruttley’s second saw the score blown out to 28-0, and the game was effectively over before halftime.
The score didn’t change at the break, and the Tigers were looking for an improved effort in the second half, but it didn’t start well, with Loko bagging a second three minutes after the restart, stretching the margin to 34 points.
However, the locals did show more fight and energy in the second half, despite only having 15 fit players.
They had several sets inside the Roosters’ quarter, but were unable to convert the chances into points.
Adam Campbell, who played extended minutes after an injury to Jake Mullaney early on, scored with 19 minutes left, as the Roosters’ cruised to a massive victory.
The final 10 minutes was all Roosters, but the result was well beyond doubt, and the scoring didn’t assist their percentages ahead of the finals.
Nairn bagged the second half of his quartet, with hard working hooker Maverick Tweedie getting over the line for the final try of the afternoon.
• The other Round 16 results saw premiers Picton Magpies down Campbelltown City Kangaroos 80-14 at Victoria Park, while Mittagong went down to Camden 30-14 at Mittagong Sportsground and the Narellan Jets defeated Oakdale 54-24 at Sid Sharpe Oval.
RESULTS – ROUND 16:
First Grade – The Oaks Tigers 0 Thirlmere Roosters 54;
Mittagong Lions 14 Camden Rams 30;
Oakdale Workers 24 Narellan Jets 54;
Picton Magpies 80 Campbelltown City 14.
Picton 32; Camden 24; Thirlmere 22; Narellan 20; The Oaks 18; Campbelltown City 12; Mittagong 10; Oakdale 8
The Oaks 34 Thirlmere 18;
Mittagong 20 Camden 26;
Oakdale 0 Narellan 72;
Picton 30 Campbelltown City 34.
Picton 26; The Oaks 22; Campbelltown City 21; Narellan 19; Camden 18; Mittagong 15; Thirlmere 11; Oakdale 6
Appin Dogs 54 Narellan Jets 14;
Mittagong 25 Camden 28;
Picton 32 Campbelltown City 30.
Camden, Thirlmere, Appin 26; Narellan 21; Mittagong 20; Campbelltown City 10; Picton 9
The Oaks 10 Thirlmere 14;
Mt Annan Barbarians 44 Moss Vale 0;
Mittagong 0 Camden 72.
Camden 24; Campbelltown City, Thirlmere 23; Mt Annan 18; The Oaks 12; Moss Vale 8; Mittagong 2
Moss Vale Dragons 0 Robertson Spuddies 26;
Mt Annan Knights 0 Appin Dogs 42;
Narellan Jets 24 Picton Magpies 14;
Warragamba Wombats 26 Bargo Bunnies 0.
Robertson 30; Appin 22; Warragamba, Narellan 19; Picton 16; Moss Vale 14; Bargo 8; Mt Annan 6
NEXT WEEK ROUND 18 SECOND DIVISION:
Community Oval double-header
Bargo Bunnies vs Robertson Spuddies (1pm);
Moss Vale Dragons vs Mt Annan Knights (2.30pm);
Appin Sportsground double-header
Warragamba Wombats vs Narellan Jets (4.30pm); Appin Dogs vs Picton Magpies (6pm)
♦ Please note the matches from Appin Sportsground will be broadcast on Group 6 League Live. Coverage from 4pm Saturday.