IT WAS a clean sweep of all three matches for the Bega Roosters Rugby League Club against Tathra in Sunday’s Group 16 local derby.
However, the Tathra Sea Eagles did not go down without a fight in the first and reserve grades.
Roosters president Garry Arkin said he was delighted with the derby.
“The Roosters had a great start to the season recording strong wins in all three games played,” Arkin said.
Unfortunately for the home side, the debutante Seagulls league-tag squad suffered a crushing 74-0 loss to the Bega Chicks.
Meanwhile, the reserves went close 28-32 in favour of the Roosters and the first grade was a last minute blowout to the Roosters 46-28.
The headline match, first grade, looked one sided early on.
“The Roosters were at their methodical best in the opening stanza, piling on 30 points in a great display,” Arkin said.
“The Roosters big guns barked loud and clear with Hayden Parbery, Todd Ingram, Jarrod Tamatea and Scott Fuller having powerful games.”
Arkin said the strong forward motion from the pack allowed clever plays from speed demons Craig Matthews and Blake Robinson.
However, Arkin said the Sea Eagles might have been closer in points if play makers hadn’t been stopped by the Bega defence.
“Tathra playmakers Childs and McDonald were continually being spoiled in their attempts,” he said.
The Roosters dominated the first half to rest at 30-6 when the halftime siren sounded.
The second half was a much tighter contest with Tathra opening the account.
“Tathra’s hooker James McMillan had the Roosters on the back pedal in the opening moments of the second half with a solo try,” Arkin said.
“And then, with a glut of possession, the Eagles came at the Roosters in waves.”
Arkin said the strong return from the Sea Eagles saw the lead “whittled away” to 36-28 in favour of the visitors.
A cross-field kick from Tathra went astray and landed in the hands of Rooster Adam Blacka to post a try on the wing.
Arkin said the Roosters then made a last ditch effort.
“Bega rallied with a further try to Cael Kelly to finish the game on a high note.”
The final score blowing out in Bega’s favour 46-28.
Robinson’s kicking game was exceptional.
He also booted a 40-20, putting the Roosters back in attack mode in the second half.
Meanwhile, Arkin said the back rowers performed well for the squad, with Ryan Apps, Parbery and Ingram all doing solid work.
The earlier reserves match started in a similar fashion with Bega opening a big lead early.
“Reserve grade was a thriller with Bega bouncing out of the blocks,” Arkin said.
“They piled on three unanswered tries in the opening 15 minutes to set up a 12-0 lead.
“Craig Dixon and Marty Scott-Thomas played havoc with their opponents,” he said.
Steven Luff was in complete control as he spread play to his attacking wings.
“The Roosters looked set for a runaway, but things changed completely when Tathra bounced back.
“They scored tries in rapid succession and they raced away to the break with a handy 22-18 lead.”
Tathra also picked up the first points of the second half, but Bega began to fight back in to the game.
“Jason D’Arcy was driving forward and receiving solid support from James Pittman and Scott Chatfield, the Roosters began to prise the eagles open,” Arkin said.
Andrew Aldridge was performing well with driving wide passes keeping the pressure on.
Luff and Aldridge combined to level the scores under the posts and the score went to 28-28 with minutes to play.
However, a strong burst on the final Bega set saw them post the points to win 32-28.
The reserve grade match was a point of pride for the Sea Eagles (see story page 26).
Meanwhile, the ladies league-tag was a wipeout for the Bega Chicks.
“The tag contest saw the Bega girls record an impressive win,” Arkin said.
“[They were] piling on points in a free-running battle against a very inexperienced, but gallant Tathra team.”
Arkin said new captain Joccoaa Rogers led the team well.
“Bega set up a commanding lead early in the game and with Joccoaa Rogers in great goal- kicking form they quickly had the game in hand,” he said.
Arkin said despite the score line the home side handled itself well and will develop.
“For the losers, the only way is up as they form combinations and get a better understanding of the rules,” he said.