There might be two weeks of competition rounds left until the Tumut Pub 9s finale but the Woolpack Roosters’ perfect start to the year has them guaranteed of a Roddy Shield appearance.
The Roosters are seven from seven after the fourth week of the Pub 9s, with the top of the table side too strong for the Star Redmen 15-10 and Batlow Tigers 26-4 on Friday night.
This terrific start has Woolpack two wins ahead of Adelong Green and Gold and the Bowlie Bears and well ahead the rest of the competition.
The worst the Roosters could finish is second and that is only if they lose their final round match against Adelong and if the Green and Gold were able to make up 70 for and against points.
Woolpack captain/coach Tommy Jeffery was pleased his side earned two more wins and guaranteed a Roddy Shield appearance.
“We pretty well knew two wins this round would get us there (and) we’re all pretty excited about it, especially with a core of us who have played here for years and haven’t had this sort of success,” Jeffery said.
“It’s definitely a good feeling.”
The Tumut Blues second rower was now looking forward to a week off before a potential grand final preview with the Green and Gold in the final round of the Tumut Pub 9s.
“Well we’ve got the bye next round, so it’ll be good to have a week off after two pretty physical games against the Star and Batlow,” Jeffery said.
“Then last round we’ll hopefully be looking to get one up on Adelong, seeing as there’s a fair chance we could play them the week after.”
The biggest challenge Jeffery envisions is the step up from nine-minute halves to 15-minute halves, given that his side will only get one chance to play the longer format.
“It’ll be a real test only playing the one 30 minute game before the grand final, so we’ll really be looking to get our timing and interchange right in the longer format.”
For the time being, Woolpack will be enjoying the week off and no doubt paying special attention to games played by the likea of Adelong, Bowlie and Royal.
Tigers, Colts and Sharks down and out
The hopes of Roddy Shield and Bristow/Madigan Plate glory are over for the Batlow Tigers, Oriental Colts and Commercial Sharks.
After seven rounds, the Tigers and Colts only have one win apiece; and that was against the hapless Sharks, who have yet to register a win in the 2020 Tumut pub 9s.
The Tigers were highly touted with lots of noise coming from their camp in the lead up to the annual 9s competition.
The Batlow team was dealt a major blow before round one, when Matt Henery was ruled ineligible.
Following that, the Tigers had a strong first round win against the Sharks but never really got going after that, losing their next five games.
The Derek Burgess coached side was average on Friday when dismantled 26-nil by the Bowlie Bears before going down to the Woolpack Roosters 26-4.
“We had a few out and we struggled but we just don’t have the pace those teams have,” Burgess said.
“I actually told our wingers to stand on the sidelines to stop them going around us but they still found a way.”
Although Batlow is now only playing for pride, Burgess was adamant his side was still enjoying the competition.
“They are still enjoying their footy and they will turn up next week ready to play and hopefully get a result.”
The Oriental Colts and Commercial Sharks on the other hand were expected to struggle, with a fair chunk of their previous squads moving on to greener pastures.
These struggles have well and truly been on show, with both sides more than negative 100 in the points differential column.
The Colts started slow but have picked up in the last two weeks, pushing teams until the end before comfortably running over the Sharks 24-7 on Friday night.
Oriental will be confident of another result when taking on Batlow in the next round of the competition.
In contrast, the Sharks have plainly and simply struggled, especially after Brayden Draber, Josh Webb and Mitch Ivill left the fold.
The Sharks were at their worst on Friday though, after Jon Carmody was ruled out and the side could only muster 13 players.
This resulted in heavy defeat to the Colts 24-7 and the Bowlie Bears 30-nil.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Sharks in the final two rounds either, with games against the Adelong Green and Gold and the Star Redmen.
Big wins to round out rounds six and seven
As the Tumut Pub 9s moves towards the business end, the stronger teams are putting their best foot forward in order to strengthen their for and against records and their position on the overall standings.
In eight games played at Twickenham on Friday night, six games were decided by three or more tries and some results really blew out towards the end.
It wasn’t hard to tell the Bowlie Bears were playing catch up after losing their first two games in emphatic fashion.
Since then, the Bears have won five straight and across their two matches against Batlow and Commercial on Friday, they won 56-nil with a 26-nil victory over Batlow before a 30-nil flogging of the Commercial.
These results have the Bears sitting equal second but one game ahead of the Adelong Green and Gold, which means their position in the top two is dependent on results in the final two rounds.
The Royal Devils, who currently sit fourth, put on the most impressive display of the evening when playing the Oriental Colts in round seven.
Led by Stephen Gill and Chris Bell, the Devils cut up the Colts and seemingly toyed with their opposition in the six tries to nil victory.
Another team that showed their Pub 9s potential was the Star Redmen, who are still a chance of a place in the Bristow-Madigan Plate final.
The Redmen bounced back from their tough 15-10 loss to the Woolpack Roosters in round six to punish the Tumbarumba Greens 21-nil in round seven.
The Star, who hadn’t previously shown their best this competition, were emphatic winners and will be confident ahead of their round eight match against the in-form Devils.
In what should have Tumut rugby league fans salivating, round eight and nine of the Tumut Pub 9s are set to showcase attacking fireworks, with teams fighting for the points and their place in the finals on March 27.
Tumut Pub 9s naughty corner
Tumut in rounds six and seven of the Tumut Pub 9s, tempers spilled over in multiple games as teams fought for valuable competition points.
This was highlighted in the fixture between the Royal Devils and Oriental Colts, where the Devils led comfortably half way through the second half.
Still, this didn’t stop Dylan Weir getting a little hot under the collar and taking it to the Royal’s players.
As a result, the referee sent Weir from the field for five minutes but shortly after, the change room door copped the brunt of Weir’s frustration as they went toe-to-toe.
Upon further inspection, the door looked to have come out on top after the altercation, with no apparent damage.
Tumut Pub 9s standings
Team Played Wins Losses Pts Differential
Woolpack Roosters 7 7 0 14 +109
Adelong Green and Gold 6 5 1 10 +39
Bowlie Bears 7 5 2 10 +39
Royal Devils 6 4 2 8 +54
Star Redmen 6 3 3 6 +29
Tumbarumba Greens 6 2 4 4 -29
Batlow Tigers 6 1 5 2 -58
Oriental Colts 6 1 5 2 -105
Commercial Sharks 6 0 6 0 -101