Woolpack and Star shine in opening rounds of the Tumut Pub 9s

Woolpack’s Hunter Lee was one of the standout players in the opening two rounds of the Tumut Pub 9s.

The Woolpack Roosters and Star Redmen have taken ownership of their Tumut Pub 9s favourite tags, with dominant starts at Twickenham Oval on Friday night.

The Redmen were physical in the middle and offered some class out wide in their 18-4 win over the Oriental Colts and tough 11-nil win over the Batlow Tigers.

Lewis Arragon scored twice against the Colts, while Michael Clark was able to score in both games, showcasing the side’s first grade talent.

Youngster Shay Thomas complemented the experienced Jacob Dow in the playmaking roles and after a good start, the Star look like genuine contenders.

Still, Woolpack sit atop the Tumut Pub 9s ladder on points differential, after a strong 19-10 win over the Royal Devils and a huge 23-4 win over the disappointing Bowlie Bears.

Hunter Lee was a standout in a stacked Woolpack Roosters side, with his pace on the right edge too much for the Royal and Bowlie.

The 16-year-old oozed class, burning competitors and scoring some beautiful tries in both matches.

The Woolpack’s attacking power came on the back of a very good defensive game though; with Tommy Jeffery, Riley Sturt and Jeremiah Freeman dominating in and around the ruck.

Jeffery, who has built a very good but young Woolpack roster, was proud of his side’s efforts, especially their work in defence.

“It was good to start to the season with two wins,” he said.

“The boys really stuck to what we trained for and we seemed to be able to click pretty well with our structure and our rotations.

“The most pleasing thing was probably the fact that we only let in three tries with minimal preparation defensively.”

Jeffery also took a moment to acknowledge the impressive efforts of Hunter Lee, who exposed opposition defensive lapses.

“He’s got some speed mate, it’s a real advantage having him and Brodie Sutton on each wing,” he said.

The Woolpack Roosters will now have to deal with the early favourites tag but Jeffery and his team are trying not to think that far ahead.

“It is only (Tumut) pub 9s and we’re not setting too many expectations for ourselves; just pick 15 blokes each week and play some footy,” he said.