THE Oberon Tigers have produced a dominant display in trouncing the Blayney Bears 48-6 at Blayney’s King George Oval on Sunday afternoon.
It was a convincing display in what has traditionally been a dangerous road trip for Oberon.
The Tigers came out firing from the kick-off and didn’t let up for the next 80 minutes.
To Blayney’s credit they never stopped trying and for the Tigers to hold them to just six points was a credit to Oberon boys.
From the kick-off the Tigers’ attack showed great intent, making early inroads. The Oberon pack were completing their sets, busting tackles and offloading at will.
A Blake Fitzpatrick break set the dangerous Oberon right edge of Tui Oloapu, Abel Lefaoseu and Brenton Gibson alight, causing Blayney no end of trouble during an early onslaught.
After 12 minutes of sustained pressure the Blayney defence cracked and Jackson Brien steamed through a gap and drew the fullback to send Ben McAlpine racing for the line.
The desperate cover defence pulled McAlpine down a metre short but not before he could roll the ball back for Tyler Hughes to scoop it up and put the Tigers on the board. McAlpine nailed the conversion and the Tigers were up 6-0.
Four minutes later Blake Fitzpatrick split the Blayney defence to score right under the black dot for an easy conversion to give the Tigers a handy early 12-0 lead.
Oberon’s defence held out an enthusiastic Blayney attack and the visitors clicked into gear with Oloapu surging upfield. On the back of that momentum Lefaoseu barged over in the corner for an unconverted try.
A Brien 50-metre break had the crowd on their feet and set the platform for a series of raids by Oberon that were denied time and again by the valiant Bears.
Oloapu and Lefaoseu finally combined to send winger Brenton Gibson over in the corner with three minutes remaining in the first half to give Oberon a 20-0 lead at the half-time break.
At the resumption of play some sloppy defence from the Tigers allowed Blayney to keep the ball alive in Oberon’s red zone and it paid off for the home team with a try under the posts to trim the lead to 20-6.
With forwards Jake Dawe and Andy Adams urging their team on the Tigers managed to fight their way back downfield. McAlpine injected himself into the game and Tyler Hughes was able to finish off a standard overlap to get the Oberon rudder back on course.
McAlpine’s conversion from the sideline was a mighty effort into the stiff southerly and bounced off the cross-bar for a goal to make it 26-6.
Next Josh Starling smashed through the line to find Fitzpatrick who linked up with Oloapufor a try under the posts. McAlpine converted and Oberon raced away to a 32-6 lead.
Oloapu again broke the line and found McAlpine backing up who flicked the ball infield as he was brought down just short of the line for Anton Wereta to swoop and score the try. With 10 minutes remaining the Tigers were in the ascendency 38-6.
Lefaoseu found space and put Hughes in for his hat-trick. McAlpine converted from out wide for a 44-6 lead.
In the dying seconds of the game Gibson latched onto a McAlpine cross kick for his double to take the final scoreline to 48-6.
In the sheds coach Branighan said he was happy overall with the performance. Andy Adams picked up the Players’ Player award and three Best and Fairest points. Two points went to Fitzpatrick and one point to Josh Starling.
Dallas Booth’s first division side had a resounding 46-6 win, placing them in the top four and continuing their purple patch.
Lochie Gilmore picked up the three Best and Fairest points and Bailey Rodgers was voted Players’ Player.
The under 18s couldn’t match Blayney on the day going down 32-6 with Jackson Duff picking up the Players’ Player and three points.
The League Tag side also fell to Blayney to the tune of 32-4 with a strong performance from Jess Ryan who was voted Players’ Player and Best and Fairest for the Tigers.
The next two rounds are crucial for the Tigers as they host competition heavyweights Bathurst Panthers and Orange Hawks, starting with the Panthers this Sunday.
League Tag starts at 10.30am and Premier League at 2.15pm.
The premier league side is just outside the top five and a vocal home crowd over the next two weeks will help them make a move up the ladder.
The Old Tiges will be hosting breakfast from 9pm.