O’Hehir could prove a headache for Blues

Dane O’Hehir could prove problematic for the Tumut Blues at Anzac Park on Saturday. Photo: Tahlia Crane Photography.

Tigers finisher Dane O’Hehir could be Tumut’s biggest problem on Saturday, with the custodian frequenting the try scorers list in 2020. 

O’Hehir has scored seven this season, registering doubles against Tumut in round one, Young in round two and Roos in round five.

The 26-year-old, who returned to the Tigers this season after a stint teaching and playing rugby league in England was cut short due to Covid-19, has been a blessing in disguise for the club, filling in at fullback while James Smart has been sidelined with a broken thumb. 

O’Hehir made an immediate impact for the Black and Gold, scoring two sensational tries against Tumut and cutting up the Blues right-edge defence.

The premiership-winning Tiger didn’t have a preference in what side of the ruck he played either, saying it was his job to be ready at any time. 

“I don’t really have a preference to be honest, I have played fullback my whole life and the role of the fullback is to roam,” O’Heir said.

“I think with fullback, it’s the support play that is important; I know it’s cliché, but if there is a chance for an offload, or a line break, that’s my job to be there. 

“I need to be sniffing around the forwards and with my kick returns, I need to be getting as many return metres as possible and help us into good field position.”

O’Hehir said Gundagai were blessed with many good finishers, especially with Damien Willis playing left centre and Matt Lyons playing on the right edge.

“We are quite lucky that we have strike weapons all over the park. We have Matt Lyons on the right edge, who is one of the best centres in the competition,” O’Hehir said. 

“Willow plays left centre and he has done his job. He’s normally a right-side centre, but his defence is his biggest asset and last weekend he set up a couple and he is always around for a try assist or try.” 

Although the Tigers have been plagued with injuries and suspension in 2020, O’Hehir said a strong reserve grade team had come in handy, with players jumping up to first grade and doing a good job. 

“We are going good considering everything. We are quite lucky that it has been a short season and we have a good reserve grade team,” O’Hehir said. 

“Jack Elphick and Charlie Barton have done a great job in helping out.”

Saturday will be a tough test for O’Hehir and his Tigers though, coming up against a red-hot Blues, and all eyes will be on the fullback and the club’s host of attacking weapons in the mouth-watering contest.