Tigers enjoy the view from the top after seeing off CSU

IN a battle of the heavyweights, the Tigers cemented their top of the table position in the Wallerawang Landscaping Cup with a 26-8 victory over last year's premiers, CSU.

The ladies' league tag side didn't disappoint the home crowd in a fighting loss to the ladder-leading, experienced CSU outfit 34-16.

MEN'S

The opening half for the Tigers couldn't have gone better with a dominant performance led by Nathan Booth, Luke Christie-Johnston and Charlie Bailey, who are all in sublime form.

From the outset, the Tigers muscled up and drove the champion CSU side back with defence in numbers that was both committed and impenetrable. With the CSU attackers stopped in their tracks, it didn't take long for the Oberon pressure to take its toll.

At the 10-minute mark, Josh Rivett, on the back of Oberon's territorial advantage, fired a long pass out to Jacob Howes, who bulldozed his way over in the corner. Rivett converted for the Tigers to take a 6-0 lead.

The Tigers were back on the attack straight away, powering upfield to camp inside the CSU 20-metre line. Relentless pressure saw Dave Sellers get low and power over for the home side's second try as the car horns blared. Rivett converted and the Tigers were up 12-0, with CSU reeling under the early onslaught.

The quarter time drinks break didn't help CSU, as Booth and Sellers resumed to continue to pound the visitors' attacking raids. By now, Oberon's near perfect wet-weather football was troubling CSU, and Sam Gascoigne managed to burrow over from dummy half to extend the lead to 16-0.

Captain/coach Dallas Booth warned his players at half-time of the threat that CSU presented if they were to cross early and build on momentum. That's exactly what they did.

CSU came out of the barriers at pace and, before the Tigers could heed Booth's half-time words, they had crossed to cut the lead to 16-4. To further put wind in the CSU sails, Dave Sellers was sin-binned shortly after to reduce the home side to 12 men.

CSU crossed again to send a message that they were back in the game at 16-8. The third quarter of football clearly belonged to the visitors as the black and golds seemed to take their foot off the pedal.

At 16-8, the big crowd were urging the Tigers on to regain the upper hand. It was Blake Fitzpatrick who responded with a determined chase to run down a kick to score and extend the lead to 20-8. Rivett guided the conversion through for a 22-8 lead.

The weather was now miserable, but the Tigers still had a sting in their tail as Zane Rowlandson put the final nail in the CSU coffin, crossing late to seal the win 26-8. Make no mistakes, though, this CSU unit is a fine football team and the Tigers will likely face them again in the finals series.

LEAGUE TAG

THE undefeated Oberon Tigers faced the champion CSU side in what was a litmus test for the girls.

Shannon Foley and Lourie Bailey have done an incredible job to meld this team together to be a shining light for how a side can use camaraderie and the desire to improve skills and be a better team.

The Tigers showed no respect for the opposition's reputation as they attacked from the onset, with an Ash Bleakley break driving deep into CSU's 22-metre line. With the Tigers pressing for an early advantage, CSU's Meredith Jones used her speed to counter-attack and post a long-range try against the run of play.

The visitors were in again shortly after to lead 10-nil and looked like they might go on with it. But the Tigers gathered themselves and struck back with a Katie Sutherland long-range break. As she does so often, Lourie Bailey spotted an opportunity and put the Tigers on the board. She converted her own try to cut the deficit to 10-6.

The scoreline blew out from this point in favour of CSU as they climbed to a 34-6 lead. However, what was obvious to the vocal crowd was that the Oberon girls were not giving up.

In a resurgent effort, the Tigers came back at the talented CSU side with a never-say-die attitude. Jacinda Snow, picking up the best and fairest award, worked tirelessly to inspire her team-mates to rally. Igniting the Tigers' comeback was Katie Sutherland, who streaked away to score a runaway try and show the Tigers still had some fight.

Ella Brien was next to cross off a nice pass from Renee Newstead to exemplify this team's fighting spirit. Bailey converted and the full-time score was posted at 34-16, but in no way reflected the girls' effort.

This week is a bye round followed by a titanic clash against Cargo at home on Saturday, August 29, which will be our annual charity Can Assist round. League tag starts at 1.30pm. Details to follow regarding the Can Assist Charity.