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Drovers dazzle CSU Reddies

Deniliquin's run of three losses ended in the best way possible on Saturday, with a surprise win over the previously undefeated Wagga CSU.

SHAUN CONNOR June 17, 2014 3:55am

Deniliquin and Wagga CSU players fight for the ball.


Deniliquin scored its biggest scalp of the Southern Inland Rugby Union season on Saturday with an industrious 27-26 win over the previously undefeated Wagga CSU.

The home side couldn’t handle the pressure the Drovers were throwing at them and despite a late fightback couldn’t make up the difference from a slow first half.

‘‘It was a really good win. Being undefeated near the top of the ladder they wouldn’t have expected that,’’ Drovers coach Warwick Strong said.

‘‘We really tackled them out of the game and our pressure was first rate.

‘‘There were a couple of errors in the second half that probably let CSU back into the game a bit, but we well and truly deserved the win.

‘‘Our pressure was just brilliant and the scrums and line-outs were very good too.’’

The Drovers scored first through Reed Jackson and then Storm Tamati with captain Nathan Holahan kicking one conversion.

The Reddies hit back with a try of their own but a late penalty to Holahan had Deniliquin leading 15-5 at half-time.

CSU opened the scoring in the second half to get within reach before Tamati landed another try to keep the momentum flowing the Drovers’ way.

Another try and conversion kept the Reddies in with a chance but the score-for-score pattern continued when Jackson broke through halfback for a great try.

Holahan finished with two conversions from four attempts to put the Drovers’ score at 27, while CSU scored in the final minute to reach 26.

Erasmus Bothma received three votes and Storm Tamati got two, while Daniel Veamatahau and late inclusion Les Dicker shared one each.

The Players’ Player accolade went to hooker Andy Brayshaw in his first game back from an ankle injury.

Strong said halfback Shae Tamati played very well in his first game while second-gamer Shawn Barnett was another standout.

‘‘Reed was great in the centres and I thought Dan Hallman put on a lot of pressue and was good all game,’’ Strong said.

‘‘We still have Scott Francis, Hayden Roach and Nathan Transton to come back into the side, so if we keep on winning we are a chance to make finals.

‘‘We know we can match it physically with any side in the competition.’’

The Drovers are home to Albury this Saturday in what is the first time the two sides have played each other since the Drovers lost last year’s grand final.

SIRU second grade ladder: Waratahs 43, CSU 39, Young 32, City 31, Tumut 21, Ag College 20, Deniliquin 20, Griffith 17, Temora 16, Coota 9, Albury 8, Leeton 5.

Despite still suffering a loss, the Deniliquin Drovers’ ladies played their best game of the season on Saturday.

With the Drovers having their biggest turn out yet of 10 players taking the field, the score was the lowest they have kept any opponent too.

Deniliquin’s defence was great with a few line breaks when the girls had the ball and player Stacey O’Meara said there were plenty of positives to take away from the game.

The Players’ Player award was presented to Ruth Landale who was outstanding in defence.

The Drovers take on Albury in this Saturday’s home match, which is anticipated to be another close one.

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