The Bega Roosters were too much for the Cooma Stallions on Sunday.
The Roosters carded a 44-6 win over the cellar-dwelling Cooma outfit, but coach Scott Barton said he had a lot of respect for the Stallions who battled with plenty of spirit for the full 80 minutes.
"Cooma are battling this year, but they showed plenty of spirit and guts against us and made us work for those points, so I have plenty of respect for them." Barton said on Monday.
The returning Joel Tamatea featured for the Roosters with a hat-trick setting the stage, while some of the big men also featured in the scoring.
Winger Jackson Whitby scored opening tries in the first and second half to set the mood for the Roosters, but he was joined by Todd Ingram and interchange middle man Dan Hyland for four pointers.
Barton himself was able to find a four-pointer off a dummy-half scoot in the second half with the Roosters shoring up their lead atop the competition table.
Following similar results in the other grades, Barton said it was no small feat for the Roosters to be in front of the curve in all four grades.
The Bega Chicks had a 24-10 win in league-tag to share the lead with the Bombala High Heelers.
Meanwhile the reserves carded a 30-4 win over the Stallions and now have a six point buffer from their nearest rival on the ladder with the Snowy River Bears holding down second on for and against from the Moruya Sharks.
The 18s carded a big win over the Stallions to share first with the Cooma club.
However, it's a particularly close battle with just four competition points now separating second place with sixth place on the first grade table.
Barton said the Roosters would be looking to secure the minor premiership and would be taking the next few rounds game-by-game leading towards the finals.
The Roosters have a narrow four-point buffer from the Bulldogs on the table.
Six rounds remain with the Roosters getting one bye ahead of the end of the season with five games to play for the competition leaders.
"We're a really happy camp and we've worked hard all year to be where we are [on the ladder]," Barton said.
The Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs will be a keen target for the Roosters as the only club this season to tarnish Bega's record, with the Roosters to also play Moruya and Bombala on the lead-in to the finals.
"It would be nice to correct that result when we face the Bulldogs again," Barton said.
"But it's imperative we take it one game at a time so our sights are focused sharply on Batemans Bay this weekend."