Tigers come close but fall to Hawks in a Mother's Day nailbiter

RESULTS did not go Oberon's way on Mother's Day with the Tigers going down to Orange Hawks in all grades on Sunday.

Premier League went painfully close again, surrendering a 12-10 lead late in the second half to eventually let the game slip out of their grasp, going down 14-12.

It was an even start with the run of play flowing from one end of the field to the other between two evenly matched sides.

With both teams probing to break the deadlock, captain-coach Josh Starling was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes for a tackle infraction.

Hawks immediately took advantage and created an overlap to cross out wide but were called back for a forward pass.

The Tigers responded by fighting to get out of their red zone and sending a 40-20 kick downfield to have the Hawks defending their line.

With the Tigers courageously lifting while playing with a man down, their effort on the field had the crowd urging the home team on.

The Tigers were throwing everything at Hawks and to emphasise the effort Oberon's centre, Jayden Fagg, at one point was absolutely poleaxed by the desperate defence of the visitors.

As the crowd gasped Fagg, showing incredible toughness and determination, got to his feet and rejoined the Tigers line.

But it was still the Hawks who managed to get on the scoreboard first.

The dangerous Willie Heta cut through the defence to send his winger over out wide at the 25-minute mark to make it 4-0 in favour of the Orange outfit.

With a string of penalties hurting the Tigers, Starling returned from the sin-bin to settle the ship.

Jake Dawe and Matt Ranse were tireless in defence and attack to keep the Tigers in the game.

Jayden Fagg then succumbed to an ankle injury before crowd favourite, Jackson Brien - also recovering from an ankle injury - came off the bench and made an immediate impact.

Brien crashed over with his first touch to put the Tigers in front after a Farren Lamb conversion.

Shortly afterwards Oberon were pressing for their second try but a loose pass broke down the play.

Still, the Tigers appeared to be in control with a slim 6-4 lead before Hawks surged and scored against the run of play with four minutes remaining to the half-time siren.

In the sheds, despite being down 10-6, Starling and the players were fired up and confident that they had the Hawks' measure.

Within five minutes, big Abel Lefaoseu scattered defenders to slip the ball perfectly to Tye Siakisoni on the wing to surge over and open the Tigers' second half account. Tye Simmonds was injected into the game and his aggression and size caused havoc as he fired up his team-mates and frustrated the Hawks defence.

With the frustration creeping into the Hawks' game, Farren Lamb slotted a penalty goal to put the home side back in front at 12-10.

Within the final 20 minutes Tye Siakisoni crossed out wide off a Lefaoseu bust but the visitors breathed a sigh of relief as the play was called back for a forward pass.

Soon after the Tigers tried to extend their lead with Farren Lamb taking a 50-metre penalty shot at goal only for the ball to hit the cross bar and land back in the field of play.

With only seven minutes remaining, a spilt bomb by Oberon gave the Hawks the territory they were looking for and after the ensuing ruck they kicked a penalty to level up at 12-12.

Again, the Hawks drove deep into the Tigers' territory and managed to cross the line but the last pass was ruled forward. Lack of discipline then cost the Tigers as the referee awarded a penalty in front of the sticks for an easy two points which put Heta's men in front 14-12, which was the final score.

Oberon will be looking to regroup for next Saturday's clash with Bathurst St Pat's at Jack Arrow Oval.