Nelson Bay Gropers tune up for Hunter Suburban Rugby finals with thumping 59-7 win over Griffins

Nelson Bay Gropers flexed their premiership muscle with nine tries against Newcastle Griffins at Bill Strong Oval.

RUNAWAY leaders Nelson Bay Gropers have continued their irrepressible charge towards the Hunter Suburban Mens rugby premiership.

The undefeated Gropers flexed their muscles during last weekend’s rousing 59-7 victory over third-placed Newcastle Griffins at Bill Strong Oval to underline their credentials.

It was another stellar performance by the well-drilled Nelson Bay XV which chalked up its thirteenth win from as many games to lead the competition on 63 points.

Club stalwart Gavin Rocher told News Of The Area that “the Gropers are right on track to claim the title.

“They are playing superb rugby with strong contributions from all team members,” said Rocher.

“Despite their dominance, the boys are fully aware that they need to carry this form into the finals series,” he added.

Second-placed Singleton Bulls Red have posted 46 points after tossing Pokolbin Reds 24-7 with Cooks Hill Brown Snakes slamming Medowie Marauders 36-3 to remain in the top four.

Spearheaded by mercurial five eighth Illisoni Vonomatairatu, the mighty Gropers blitzed their rivals with power and skill to run in nine impressive tries.

The classy number ten engineered the rout with his dynamic running and clever passing and notched two tries and seven goals for a personal haul of 24 points.

Power running second rower Hamish Bartlett monstered the Griffins and capped a strong game with a try double.

Other try scorers for the Gropers were props Zion Takarua and Nathan McLeay, winger Scott Triston, centre Rhys Cutbush and dashing fullback Will Dunn.

Griffins centre Kobi Etcell nabbed a consolation try that was converted by half back Johnty Pettet.

Nelson Bay host Cooks Hill this Saturday in the final preliminary round at Bill Strong Oval from 3pm.

By Chris KARAS

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