ON THE BALL: Hamilton forwards Harry Veitch (right) and Tiueti Asi compete for possession during the Hawks’ 40-10 win over Maitland. Picture: Max Mason-HubersHAMILTON coach Scott Coleman stop short of saying the premiers were back but he believes they are headed in the right direction.
The Hawks overpowered Maitland 40-10 at Marcellin Park on Saturdayto move within five points leaders Wanderers, who were upset 29-10 by Southern Beaches .
The win over the Blacks followed a 45-5 triumph over Southern Beaches, which brought an end to a two game losing streak.
The two losses occurred during the NSW Country program, to which the Hawks supplied five players and Coleman.
“Having the country players back has lifted the intensity in games and training,” Coleman said. “We are certainly playing at a higher tempo and with more composure. We are being patient and not traying to score off every phase.”
The Hawks scored just before halftime to open a 19-10 advantage. From there they took controll.
“Seva Rockoboro and Tiueti Asi were outstanding,” Coleman said. They got us on the front foot and gave the backs time and space to do their thing. Our lineout was also dominant. We won 6 of their throws.”
Southern Beaches coach JohanLourenspraised his forwards they ground out a 29-21 win over leaders Wanderers on Saturday.
Halfback Logan Hemopo scored andconverted a bonus-pointtry after strong build-up from his forwardsin the dyingminutes to put the hosts ahead at Ernie Callan Field.
“The boys dug in today,” Lourens said.
“The forward pack was just incredible today and I couldn’t really single anyone of them out. All eight were brilliant.
“We made a changeto our game for the match and it paid off.
“Wanderers are a very good side and the momentum turned back their way with 15 to go but luckily our boys took control again.”
Two Blues coach Viv Passi said there were no excuses from his side.
“They played really well and deserved the win,” Passi said.
“It was a grinding game, especially from them. They played to their strengths and we just didn’t react to it.”
At Townson Oval, The Waratahs upset Merewether Carlton 25-13.
The Waratahs went ahead 8-3 in the 21stminute with a try in the corner from makeshift fullbackAlistar Ledinghamafter the teams had exchanged penalties.
No.8 James Williams scored off a tight-head scrum win in the 40th minuteto give Merewether a 10-8 halftime lead.The teamstraded penalties early in the second half before the Tahs went ahead with a pick-and-drive try fromAlain Miriallakis.
Elsewhere, Daniel Faafete scored two tries as Lake Macquarie defeated Singleton 46-5,and Nelson Bay downed University 24-15.