The Nyngan Tigers clicked back into gear on Sunday with a resounding 66-12 annihilation of the Wellington Cowboys at Larkin Oval.
Just a week after their 14-all draw against the Dubbo Macquarie Raiders – a real missed opportunity for the Tigers in front of a home crowd of more than 450 people – the Nyngan side has shown why it’s worthy of a place in the 2017 finals series.
The win moves the Tigers into third place on the competition ladder, nestled neatly between the Parkes Spacemen (in second on 14 points) and defending premiers Forbes Magpies (in fourth on 12 points).
It was Nyngan’s forwards who stood up, with Old Lurk and Tunui Maurangi leading the way up front.
Lurk was typically dominant, taking the side forward from the get-go and making ground with every carry.
Tuiloma Atuau was also explosive on the edge, as his combination with captain-coach Stewart Mills was eye-catching.
Lom crossed for two tries and was unlucky not to grab another couple.
Mills was impressive at number six.
The team seemed to run smoothly around him and he had a mile of time when he had the footy.
Rob Gudgeon was another to benefit from Stu’s direction, having a field day outside him and the Wellington Cowboys couldn’t lay a hand on him.
The loss leaves Wellington to languish in sixth after five consecutive losses.
Wellington were competitive for the opening 20 minutes against the solid Nyngan boys and a try by captain-coach Aidan Ryan saw the boys go into half time down 24-6.
Another try to Ryan in second half wasn’t enough to impact the game as the floodgates opened and Nyngan piled on the points.
“We had 10 players until the Reserve Grade players had to back-up and help out, so it was pretty disappointing,” Ryan said.
“The local players they just honestly have no pride, so we’ll hopefully look at recruiting a few players that can build us up and when they throw on that jersey they want to play footy and have that pride in the club week in, week out.
“At the moment it’s pretty disgraceful.”
The Cowboys are hopeful of ending their losing streak as they come up against Dubbo Westside on Sunday.
Last time the two sides met in round three the Cowboys won 54-16 – an outcome Ryan hopes to deliver again on home turf this week.
“The boys are all fairly keen, we tend to play good at home so will try put on a show for the crowd,” Ryan said.
“We’ve got a really good run [ahead of finals].
“We have to win three of the next five to make the semis and I think we can do it.”
In the round’s other matches, Parkes defeated the Raiders 26-22, Forbes dominated Dubbo Westside 84-4 and Dubbo CYMS downed Narromine Jets 62-6.