A massive 51-0 win brings the Drovers one step closer to the second division finals.SAM HALL July 8, 2014 8:20am
Scott Francis attempts to run the ball as his teammates keep Wagga City players away at Hardinge St Oval on Saturday.
Deniliquin Drovers stunned Southern Inland Rugby Union powerhouse, Wagga City, with a comprehensive 51-0 drubbing on Saturday.
The locals were far too strong for the Boiled Lollies, running in nine unanswered tries in windy conditions at the Hardinge St Oval.
Loose forward Storm Tamati starred for the Drovers, bagging three tries and claiming the Players’ Player mug.
Deniliquin coach Warwick Strong said he was happy with his side’s performance, but admitted the locals still have a lot of work to do if they want to qualify for this year’s second division finals.
“It was a good result for us against a quality opposition,” Strong said.
“The first half was probably a bit of individual brilliance from certain players that saw us score, but we really came together as a team in the second half.
“That was probably the most pleasing thing. It was good to see some of the combinations and plays coming off during the second half.”
Five-eighth Sonny Tamati was first to score for the Drovers. The utility back was filling the shoes for captain Nathan Holahan who was a late withdrawal from the game.
Next to score was winger Daniel Veamatahau who found space out wide and ran 50m metres to score in the corner.
Storm Tamati and towering number-eight Scott Francis also bagged five-pointers in the opening term to see their side lead 22-0 at half time.
“We were fortunate that City didn’t score in the first half,” Strong said.
“They threatened a few times, but we managed to hold on.”
Sonny crossed the chalk again shortly after the break to snare his second try of the match, before winger Sam Tuliau and outside centre Reed Jackson both crashed over for the home side.
Storm capped off a brilliant performance with two tries late in the game to see the Drovers run out comfortable winners.
Fullback Shannon Poka finished with three conversions.
“It was really important for us to put in a good performance this week,” Strong said.
“We have to keep winning to make finals.
“Next week it starts all over again. We’ve got a tough away trip to Temora. It’s going to be a real test for us.”
Francis received the three votes as best player on Saturday, Storm claimed two votes and the Players’ Player accolade, while young second-rower Shawn Barnett and Poka shared one vote each.
The under-strength lady Drovers put in a brave performance against Wagga City on Saturday.
Despite being beaten convincingly by their more experienced opponents, the local ladies continue to gain respect in their first season.
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