THE Batemans Bay Tigers ended their Mackay Park commitments for 2012 in style on Saturday night with a comfortable 33-18 win over the Jamberoo Superoos.
A starring role from young five-eighth Jared Wood-Johnston helped the Tigers to their fifth win of the season and ensured the club’s 1992 and 2002 grand final heroes, who were at Mackay Park celebrating a reunion, were impressed.
“I was nervous right until the end but this was a great morale booster and it was good for the club, with the function being on tonight,” Tigers’ coach Deryck Fox said.
Jamberoo, which needed a win to have any hope of a finals berth, lacked intensity and was duly punished after 10 minutes.
The Tigers piled on the early pressure and showed patience with the ball in hand before Gerard Dennis barged over for 4-nil lead.
Batemans Bay soon doubled its advantage when winger Mat Hensley climbed high to score in typically sensational fashion from Willie Newton’s towering kick.
Fox’s side was intent on maintaining its momentum and surged ahead to a 12-nil lead four minutes later.
Dennis made the initial break before releasing Brodie Ralph on the inside, who set up Adam McCann for a simple stroll to the line.
Jamberoo looked well out of sorts but mustered up a response shortly after when Daniel Weight scored from dummy half.
Matt Coelho slotted the conversion to make the score 12-6 at half-time.
However, it took the hosts all of six minutes to reassert their dominance after the break when fullback Michael Tadich caught Coelho’s high kick and sprinted 70 metres to score untouched.
Newton converted for the first time in the match for 18-6.
Hensley was then forced from the field with a dislocated shoulder on 48 minutes, in what was a rare sour note for the Bay.
However, the winger’s absence didn’t disrupt the Tigers and they went further ahead six minutes later when Newton touched down thanks in large part to a superb pass from Wood-Johnston.
Newton converted his own try and then put the match out of reach for Jamberoo with a cheeky field goal.
The Superoos hit back on the hour mark when Willie McDonald and Coelho combined for six points, but the Tigers kept their end of the scoreboard ticking over – this time through a Newton penalty goal.
Wood-Johnston capped off his man-of-the-match performance when he beat three defenders to score in the 71st minute, but Jamberoo had the last say when Matt Rouen crossed.
Youngster Josh Sullivan impressed off the bench to earn a share in the Tigers’ players’ player votes.
“We calculated that the average age of the side is only 22, so there’s a bright future for the Batemans Bay Tigers,” Fox said.