THE Bega Roosters claimed two out of three against classic rivals the Eden Tigers on Sunday, while the under 18s scored a narrow win over Cooma.
Both clubs celebrated NAIDOC week and recognised the contributions of Indigenous players with specially designed jerseys on the day.
It was a surging second half turnaround for the first grade to secure a 42-24 win after the teams were deadlocked at 18-18 by half-time.
In the league tag clash, the Bega Chicks continued their dominant streak to win 46-0 over the Tigerettes.
However, in the reserve grade match, the Roosters could not slow the powerhouse Tigers to lose 46-8.
The under 18s knocked over the Cooma Colts in a solid performance to win 22-16.
The main event first grade clash was a real struggle for both sides in the first half.
Dropped balls, penalties and some poor kicking led to a low completion rates, which had play settle in the middle of the ground for several minutes.
However, some surging runs and clever kicks worked in both teams’ favour, matching try-for-try until half-time.
Eden’s big men in the likes of Billy Michelin and the resilient Leigh Hennessey gave the Tigers space to work with.
Tyrone Thomas worked play to the right with his quick stepping before offloading to Ian Smith, who snuck in under the posts.
After the restart play fluctuated through the midfield, but an early Eden kick hit a Bega player, who gathered possession and put the Roosters on the attack.
In his first top grade clash this year, Roosters prop Dayne Burton pushed play to just one metre off the Eden line, a quick play-the-ball led to Blake Robinson diving under the posts to level the odds.
A quick repeat try on the right by Billy Michelin put Eden back in front.
However, Bega’s Mitch Carter balanced the scores once again.
Then confusion around a dropped ball 30 metres from the Bega line saw Eden’s Smith again sweep in to score between the scattered Roosters defence.
However, the Roosters rallied again and took advantage of two penalties in a row from the Tigers.
Firstly a knock-on at the Eden 40, then a head-high 20 metres from the line.
A strong talk at half-time saw the Roosters come out with plenty of momentum as Lee Fuller nailed two tries, with a stunner deep in the left pocket.
Cael Kelly and Luke Dowdle also chimed in to put Bega well in front.
Meanwhile, Leigh Hennessey scored Eden’s fourth, but only try for the second half for the Bega squad to surge ahead on the board.