Greater Northern Tigers are hoping for some home “roars” when they host Northern Rivers Titans in four NSW Country Championship matches in Armidale on Saturday.
The Tigers were beaten in three of the four NSW Country Rugby League Country Championship matches at Geoff King Motors Oval by the North Coast Bulldogs last Saturday and will be hoping for a better scoreboard when they tackle the Titans.
Only the Tiger Under 23s won last Saturday, a 26-20 win over the Bulldogs, their first Country Championship win since the format was changed to Under 23’s!
“Yeah, the first time we’ve won a game since the 23s have been up and running,” confirmed Tigers coach Peter Stevens.
“We were a bit clunky early, should have won by more than we did. Bombed a couple of good chances and a couple of passes went astray.”
He thought props Isaac Austin and James Ballinger “led from the front” while hooker Matt Gillham also played well with fullback Will Nieuwenhuise also impressing and earning the players player award.
“We didn’t have a bad player,” Stevens said.
“They all did their job and there will be two or three better off for the run too.”
That win presents the side with an opportunity to play in the semi finals if they beat the Titans but the Tiger Under 18’s, which Peter Stevens also coaches, were beaten 34-12 in their fourth round Laurie Daley Cup match.
“They were off the pace but it was a game they could have won,” Stevens said.
“We were a little flat and North Coast played a different style we hadn’t seen, a lot of running from dummy half and a lot of sideways movement. The three hard games we’d had caught up with them.
“We’re out now so hopefully we can give some of the boys who have been in this squad the last couple of years a good send off.”
The Steve Haylen-coached Tiger Under 16’s suffered their first loss in the Andrew Johns Cup when beaten 26-12 while the Mick Schmiedel-coached Tiger Ladies lost 22-nil.
That 22-nil score didn’t “reflect how close the game was”, Mick Schmiedel said.
“We kept ourselves in the game with our defence,” Mick Schmiedel said.
“They worked really hard but missed a couple of early opportunities. If we had taken those it would have changed the momentum of the game.
“I wasn’t disappointed. We only needed to be 10 to 15 per cent better and we win that.”
He thought Jess Morgan was best for the Tigers with Taylah Blackadder, Lucy Prudden and Shae Pemberton also good.”
Andrew Johns Cup Under 16’s: NORTH COAST BULLDOGS 26 (M Donovan 3, T Bull tries, O Tyerman 5gls) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 12 (Mark Simon 2 tries, Pichai Dixon 2gls).
Laurie Daley Cup Under 18’s: NORTH COAST BULLDOGS 34 (E Clark, M Evans, J Wood, E Duncombe, U Roberts, B Morgan tries, K Parkinson 5gls) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 12 (Jhett Butler, Steven Dengate tries, Dengate 2gls).
LADIES COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP: NORTH COAST BULLDOGS 22 (S Long N Binge, T Mcrace, G Smith, E Johnston tries, L Ward gl) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 0.
MENS UNDER 23 COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP: GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 26 (Cameron French, Dewayne Nicholls, James Bradley, Isaac Austin, Matt Gillham tries, Will Nieuwenhuise 3gls) d NORTH COAST BULLDOGS 20 (o Blair 2, J Lauder, D Lavender tries, O Blair 2gls).