Oberon Tigers celebrate thrilling 27-26 win over Cowra Magpies

TOO QUICK: Oberon Tiger Jackson Brien charges through the Cowra Magpies' defence during Sunday's Group 10 clash in Oberon.
TOO QUICK: Oberon Tiger Jackson Brien charges through the Cowra Magpies' defence during Sunday's Group 10 clash in Oberon.

The icy wind cutting across Oberon's home ground on Sunday couldn't extinguish a red-hot start from the Oberon Tigers as they emerged 27-26 winners in a thriller against Cowra Magpies.

Oberon put in a near-perfect first-half performance to lead 22-0 at the break before the Magpies staged a stunning second-half fightback to take the game right down to the wire.

Both teams were even on the ladder and the stakes were high as the victor could potentially force their way into a top-four place on the competition ladder.

With both sides producing perfect starts to the match, it wasn't until Oberon's Josh Starling made the first clean break in the game that the Tigers looked like taking charge

Shortly after, Blake Fitzpatrick was held up over the line.

Other Oberon Tigers reports this year ...

From the ensuing play the ball, Farren Lamb sent Starling crashing over with a neat inside pass to open the Tigers' account. Lamb converted to give the home side an early 6-0 lead at the eight-minute mark.

From the Cowra restart Oberon's fullback, Jackson Brien, carved up the defence to race 60 metres downfield.

Before the Magpies could recover, the Tigers took advantage and moved the ball about resulting in winger Elias Dukes crossing untouched out wide.

Lamb, continuing his perfect kicking record from last week's game against St Pat's, duly converted to stretch the early lead out to 12-0.

Cowra's woes didn't end there. The Magpies allowed the ball to bounce from a mid-field bomb and Oberon managed to regather possession before Richie Peckham sped away to score the third try of the half.

At 18-0 down Cowra were wilting under the relentless Tigers' pressure with errors creeping into their game. Starling and Jake Dawe had inflicted early damage and Peckham's tactical kicking kept the Magpies back-peddling.

Ty Simmonds was sent into the game off the bench and made an immediate impact with his crashing runs and bruising defence.

Shortly before the break a Simmonds break sent Lamb flying down the centre of the field to find Matt Ranse backing up. With two men to beat, Ranse crossed out wide to send the Tigers to the half-time break with an imposing lead of 22-0.

However, it was as though two completely different teams came out after half-time.

Within the first 10 minutes both Cowra centres had crossed for tries to close the gap to 22-10. And with the Magpies playing an upbeat style, Warren Williams crossed for his second try to close the gap further to 22-16.

Needing to steady the ship, Starling was sent back into the fray and, rallying his troops, had Cowra pinned down in their own half for the first time in the second stanza.

Ranse, showing grit and strength, wrestled his way over in a determined effort to give the Tigers a little breathing space at 26-16.

With 16 minutes remaining it was Oberon's turn to let a bomb bounce only to see the Magpies swoop and send their winger over out wide to close the gap again to 26-20.

Even after Cowra five-eighth Claude Gordon was sent from the field on a punching charge, the visitors continued to contest hard at every play with Williams crossing for his hat-trick to level the scoreline at 26-all with less than five minutes remaining.

Lamb's first field goal attempt from 40 metres out failed but the Tigers managed to set up again, this time from 35 metres out, and Lamb slotted the match winner to give his side a nail-biting 27-26 victory.

Our popular League Tag girls recorded a much deserved first win of the season, downing the Magpies 12-4. Both under 18s and First Division went down in close matches.

This Sunday the Tigers travel to Blayney to take on the Bears.