The Tigers celebrated Mark Elphick’s 100th match in style with a comfortable 58-10 victory over Tumbarumba Greens at Anzac Oval on Saturday.
It took just three minutes for the in-form Tigers to post points when winger Phil Latu crossed out wide. James Luff couldn’t add the extras and the Tigers led 4-0.
A fortuitous try to Tigers five eighth Tyron Gorman saw his side push further ahead.
Centre Damian Willis found space out wide and kicked ahead only for the Greens to spill the loose ball and Gorman was on hand to touch down. This time Luff made no mistake and the Tigers led 10-0 after 15 minutes.
With just over 10 minutes left in the half, Luff found Tigers winger Ben Reardon with a long pass and he was good enough to score in the corner. Luff couldn’t add the extras and the Tigers went into the final 10 minutes of the half with a 14-point lead.
Despite the scoreline the Greens had battled hard and weren’t giving up, but the Tigers added a further three tries before halftime, including two to Damian Willis and one to Luff, to head into the sheds full of confidence, up 30-0.
The halftime scoreline was perhaps a bitter pill for the Greens to swallow as they trailed by just 14 points with 10 minutes left, but conceded three late tries which blew out the margin.
Latu crashed over for his second in the 46th minute and soon after Dane O’Heir weaved through some sloppy Greens defence to touch down in the 53rd minute.
Tigers skipper James Smart took over the goal kicking duties and added the extras to make it 42-0.
The Greens hit back with a well-worked try to Josh Atkinson but the Tigers replied in the 58th minute via Brett Eccleston, for a 48-4 scoreline with 22 minutes remaining.
A Greens error saw Willis pounce for his hat trick, converted by Smart to make it 54-4 but again the Greens replied with a try of their own to Jordan Anderson, converted by Casey Johnson and his side trailed 54-10.
Smart work by Latu in his own quarter saw the powerful winger take an offload and race 80 metres to score a spectacular try in the corner, and the Tigers finished big winners.Latu takes a pass and races 80 metres to score a great try.
Tigers captain James Smart conceded it wasn’t one of of his team’s best performances but was still satisfied to get the win.
“We probably made it hard for ourselves in the first half, we handed over a bit of ball,” Smart said.
“We knew once we built some pressure the points would come on the back of it, so our tries late in the first half were probably on the back of that.”
Smart said he asked his team at half-time to lift the intensity and his team responded.
Mark Elphick was pleased to get a win in his milestone match.
“It feels good to get a win on a day like today it’s pretty special,” Elphick said.
“I was a little nervous leading up to the match, for a change because I’m not usually nervous.”
He had no hesitation in nominating his most memorable game.
“Last year’s grand final was unreal, you’ll never beat that.”