Orara Valley show no mercy
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IT'S the way things have always been in Rugby League.
The forwards do the hard yards, the big tackles and set the platform for the backs to get all the glory.
Orara Valley prop Ben Ferguson was sensational yesterday in the Axemen's 82-4 demolition of Macleay Valley.
Ferguson broke more tackles than Brad Pitt has hearts, often leaving behind him a trail of destruction of Mustangs defenders who missed more tackles than a married man has forgotten anniversaries.
The performance of the big man in the number 10 jersey easily earned him the players player award, despite a barrage of 15 tries being scored for the afternoon.
Adam McCarthy and Matt Donovan both scored four tries each in displays that oozed class, but it was Ferguson who was receiving all the pats on the back.
From the very first set of the game, Ferguson made a line break through a couple of missed tackles with a charging run that led to Brant O'Dea scoring the first try of the match and the pattern continued for the whole afternoon.
Aaron Considine, John Munday and Alan Jones also joined in the fun at various times of the contest.
For the first 20 minutes of each half, the Axemen were close to perfect.
In these two periods, Orara completed 15 of their 17 sets and scored 11 tries.
Towards the end of each half though, the Axemen's foot seemed to be taken off the pedal, and captain-coach Brad Hart agreed.
"We were trying to set up some set plays and practice them," he said.
"We knew we were ahead and were going to win the game, it was just a matter of setting up our set moves, getting used to them and doing them.
"A couple of times there the last pass mightn't have stuck or we tried to push it when we shouldn't have.
"But I'm happy with the boys, we're really enjoying our football."
Despite losing by big margins most weeks, Macleay Valley also appear to be a team that is enjoying each others company on the field, if not the scoreline.
For most of the day the Mustangs kept trying and trying but were close to losing their cool when their best player for the day was given an early shower with only a few minutes remaining.
In one of the more bizarre incidents seen this year, referee David Dunn sin-binned David Kyle for time wasting as Kyle took too long to set up the ball for the re-start.
Mustangs captain-coach Wayne Bartrim was non-plussed about a couple of decisions during the day, but realised at the end of the day that they were simply a team outmatched and outplayed.
"It was one of our better games with the ball, but defensively we came up pretty short," he said.
"All we can do is just work on defence during the week.
"We've got two home games in a row and we're just looking for our first win next week, hopefully we'll get it."
If the Mustangs find a power forward like Ben Ferguson in the next seven days, they'll be half a chance.
ORARA VALLEY AXEMEN 82 (Adam McCarthy 4, Matt Donovan 4, Paul Tomlinson 2, Brant O'Dea, Grant Vincent, Dave Smith, Brad Hart, Jamie Anderson tries; Scott Lacey 10, Anderson goals) d MACLEAY VALLEY MUSTANGS 4 (Adam Shore try).
Scrums: Macleay Valley 9-3.
Penalties: Orara Valley 7-5.
Errors: Orara Valley 11, Macleay Valley 7.
Best Players: Orara Valley - Ben Ferguson, Adam McCarthy, Matt Donovan.
Macleay Valley - David Kyle, Paul Owens, Adam Shore.
Reserve Grade: Orara Valley d Macleay Valley 50-14.
Under 18s: Orara Valley d Macleay Valley 28-4.