The Tumut Bulls second grade side carried the club’s colours with pride at Conolly Park on Saturday, with the visitors landing a thrilling come from behind 24-19 victory over the Wagga Waratahs in round 10 of the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) competition.
Tumut trailed Tahs 7-nil early doors but fought back to make it 7-all after Nemi Luvuiale scored an entertaining try on the left edge and Aidan Thomas converted.
Waratahs fought back and made it 14-7 at the break and 19-7 just after half time, with Joe Puckeridge and Paul Arragon crossing for tries.
After earning a handful of penalties, Tumut finally found their rhythm, and from close range, Isireli Baleitavuki crashed over for a well-deserved try.
Thomas converted and Tumut trailed Tahs 19-14 after 55 minutes.
Tumut went ahead after 67 minutes of play, and the visiting side’s third try came about due to a Tahs’ error.
From a scrum in attacking field position, a Waratahs attacking player dropped the ball and Sekaia Drama was able to toe the ball through no less than three times, with the speedster looking more like a footballer as he cleverly manoeuvred the ball towards his try line.
To the delight of a vocal travelling Tumut contingent, Drama grounded the ball and following Thomas’ successful conversion, Tumut crept ahead 21-19.
The final stages of the contest saw the home side step up the intensity, but Tumut were up to the challenge, holding out multiple raids before moving the ball down field.
After back-to-back penalties, the Bulls then sealed the win, with Thomas slotting a penalty conversion, taking the score to 24-19 at full time.
Isireli Baleitavuki was best on ground for the Bulls, with the veteran centre making multiple strong carries, while Posesi Fanua proved hard to stop, with the number eight proving difficult to bring down.
Mafi Fanua, Seth Bellchambers, Chris Pianelli, Travis Walmsley, Nemi Luvuiale and Aidan Thomas were also integral to Tumut’s victory.
In the remaining round 10 SIRU second grade games, Wagga City defeated Ag College 27-15, Griffith accounted for Albury-Wodonga 27-12 and Leeton defeated Reddies 30-nil.
Tumut Bulls 24 (Tries: Nemi Luvuiale, Isireli Baleitavuki, Sekaia Drama; Conversions: Aidan Thomas 3; Penalty conversion: Aidan Thomas) defeated Wagga Waratahs 19 (Tries: Joe Puckeridge, Paul Arragon, Jack Turner; Conversions: Jackson McAuliffe, Joe Puckeridge).
SIRU second-grade standings: Wagga City 35, Ag College 35, Hay 32, Griffith 31, Reddies 24, Tumut 14, Waratahs 11, Albury-Wodonga 9, Leeton 6.