Group 19 rugby league: Uralla v Guyra round 16

The Tigers hosted the Super Spuds for the final round of the Group 19 second division competition with the hope of keeping their unbeaten record at home intact. 

Instead they were blown away in the early stages of the match. 

Guyra scored the first try to Dan Vidler three minutes in. 

Corey Torrens latched on to an offload three minutes later to run 50m and score out wide on the five minute mark. Unconverted. 10-nil.

A diving DJ Patterson then scored in the corner for the Spuds with 16 left in the first-half. Conversion unsuccessful. 14-nil to Guyra.

Two minutes later Dan Vidler carried Uralla defenders over the try line to score.

Three minutes before half-time, Mike Moran barged over next to the posts to give Uralla their first try. 

Half-time was 18-6. 

The home side were first to score in the second-half after they opted to run the ball on the final play to find Russell Burnham out wide who dived over in the corner. 

Guyra hit back within five minutes and Dan Vidler notched up his hat-trick with a strong run 20 metres out to find the tryline next to the posts.

Patterson had his second shortly after. 

Brock Laybutt chased down a kick to score in the corner to take the scoreline out to 32-10. 

With two minutes left on the clock, Anthony Dittman raced 50m to score and Guyra took the win 36-10.

“We knew we had to come out all guns blazing from the get-go,” Dittman said. 

“It was a good start from us and we found our feet early.

“We played some really good footy across the park. Our forwards set the pace for us again and we played off the back of them. 

“We know the footy we are capable of playing and we showed signs of it on the weekend. We took a lot of positive vibes out of the game but we didn’t over react.”

The win puts the Spuds in second place and they will take on the Tigers again in the major semi-final on August 18 in Uralla.

“We know there is a lot more to do yet. It is always different footy come finals,” Dittman said. 

“We know when we play Uralla next it won’t be the same game.”

Clark lamented the effort by his team from the get-go was less-than-impressive. 

“It was just a very poor effort by the blokes out there,” he said. 

“We just can't play catch-up footy. If they get a start on us, we seem to struggle a bit, push things.

“We probably had the ball twice in the first 20 minutes which doesn't help much but silly penalties and drop balls don't help. I don't think you will see a worse game from Uralla this year.”

Clark’s side have the chance for redemption on August 18 with the Tigers hosting the Spuds for the major semi-final. 

“Hopefully we can change that into the final,” he said. 

“It doesn't worry us too much but it would have been nice to get that win and play Warialda but on the other hand we play Guyra again.

“We will probably play them three times in-a-row when we win the next game.”

While it wasn’t the outing the Uralla men wanted, signs were better for the league tag team as they romped home to a 48-6 win against an understrength Guyra team. 

After a “flat” performance in their last game against Walcha two weeks ago, coach Kerry Brett was pleased with the effort against the Spudettes. 

“Pretty happy with their performance and their energy and enthusiasm, it was probably the best all season,” he said. 

“That goes a long way to winning a footy game.” 

Brett said the extra effort they have been putting in at training is finally paying off. 

“Things coming together we have been trying all season and they have finally been coming together now. 

“I know the players a bit better now and worked with them a bit more than I have been because I do know them a bit better. I put a bit more responsibility on a couple of players and they have responded well so I am pretty happy with that.”

Brett believes the camaraderie among the team has helped bring their game together. 

“We have sorted a few things out in recent weeks and it is a whole lot better around the team. Positive trainings the last couple of weeks and very positive on the field from what I can see anyway,” he said. 

This Saturday will see the minor semi-final take place between Warialda and Ashford in the men’s and Warialda and Bingara in the league tag. 

This story Uralla host Guyra for the final round of the season | Photos first appeared on The Armidale Express.