It was a round highlighted by upsets in week three of the Tumut Pub 9s, with the previously winless Adelong Green and Golds and the Oriental Colts getting off the mark.
The Colts stunned the Tumbarumba Greens 25-14 in the final game of the night and it was two players that led the charge, with Dylan Weir proving electric in attack and Keigan King dominating the contest with some barnstorming runs.
Weir demonstrated an astute kicking game, scoring two very entertaining tries, while King was unstoppable at times, often laying the platform for the Colts to score points.
Veteran finisher Matthew Richards also got in on the action, scoring a clever blindside try, proving he still has plenty of zip left.
In the second of the upset wins, Adelong put pay to the Commercial Sharks 26-7 in a game that was played in two very different halves.
The Green and Gold dominated possession in the first half but lacked polish in attack and would only go ahead at the break 4-nil after Brendon Arragon scored a good try.
The second half saw Tate O’Donovan and Corey Wilson take control of the attack, with O’Donovan scoring twice, while Blake Maher and Jake Hardwick scored off kicks in the big win.
Maher was one of the best on field for Adelong, offering plenty in attack but marking up on the competition’s most dangerous player, Josh Webb.
The Green and Golds outside back basically took Webb out of the contest, making a handful of key one-on-one tackles.
“It was a good challenge; it is good to see where I am at footy wise coming into the Group 9 season,” Maher said.
“I pride myself in taking players like Webby on in defence.”
Maher conceded that Adelong were out of Roddy Shield contention, but he was happy to see his side winning well.
“We pride ourselves on being the team to beat and in the first couple of weeks we just weren’t good enough,” Maher said.
“Today was a good day with the dry weather and we were able to throw the ball around and show what we could do, which was nice.”
The Green and Golds can still push for a Bristow/Madigan Plate appearance, but they would need to win their final two games and have results go their way.
“We are still building on our combinations a bit but it was good to see we scored some points and hopefully we can improve over the next couple of weeks,” Maher said.
“We just want to win all of our games and knock other teams out of finals and basically have some fun, if we get there; if we don’t, we don’t – we just want to enjoy our footy.”
Maher said the Royal looked the team to beat, with the second place Devils showcasing a lot of talent across the park.
“I have to say Royal are the team to beat; they have a lot of good little players with Kaidan Bell and a good forward pack with Shane Herrington and Benny Warner,” Maher said.
Player of the competition top 20
Kaidan Bell (Royal) 14
Josh Webb (Commercial) 10
Jordy Anderson (Tumbarumba) 8
Brayden Draber (Woolpack) 6
Tom Jeffery (Woolpack) 6
Todd Bennett (Tumbarumba) 4
Jack Hartnett (Batlow) 4
Coen McKenzie (Star) 4
Jesse Bellchambers (Batlow) 3
Mitch Ivill (Star) 3
Tallis Cotterill (Star) 3
Zac Fairall (Commercial) 3
Jordy Maher (Adelong) 3
Kabati Matankiae (Batlow) 3
Jake Hardwick (Adelong) 3
Mal Aitken (Commercial) 3
Brodie Sutton (Woolpack) 3
Dylan Weir (Oriental) 3
Ben Warner (Royal) 3
Matt Byatt (Tumbarumba) 3