Waratahs retain Griffith bragging rights

Group 20 rugby league

Waratah Tigers ............... 38

Black and Whites ............... 26

THE Waratah Tigers tightened their stranglehold on local bragging rights on Saturday night, beating an undermanned Black and Whites outfit 38-26 at Exies Oval.

It was a win set up by the forward pack but delivered by the 'Tahs flashy outside backs with fullback Johnny Teleaga, centre Fili Fili and winger Shorne Ngu all scoring two tries apiece.

The Black and Whites were missing first-choice prop Jericho Tanuvasa and captain-coach David Milne, who strained his hamstring at training late last week, and it showed.

Waratahs pack leaders Enoch Tia and Michael Ioapo had it mostly their own way, allowing the likes of Teleaga, Fili and Ngu to capitalise to great effect.

But captain-coach Kose Lelei said he was unhappy with his side's second-half performance, which opened the door for the Black and Whites to come back into the match.

"We've just got to focus and not get ahead of ourselves. We can't afford to fall asleep like that," he said.

"We did it last week. They just think that because we're up by a few tries we can do that.

"They're too laid back sometimes. We can't do that against Lakes or any other team."

John Lolohea scored the Waratahs' other try and was busy throughout while Fili missed just two of his seven conversion attempts.

Lelei reserved special praise for Ngu, the teenager who represented Country NSW last year and crossed from the Yenda Blueheelers to join brother Viliami at the club during the off-season.

Ngu was one of the best on ground in his debut first-grade appearance for the Waratahs and is set to play out the year in the seniors, Lelei said.

"He had a good game. He was just getting involved," he said.

"Every time he ran the ball he made at least 20 metres.

"It's good, our combinations are slowly starting to work now."

For the Black and Whites, Gospel Toru had a good game at hooker and crossed twice but his side desperately missed the firepower of Tanuvasa and Milne.

The club hopes both will return to the paddock when the Black and Whites host undefeated West Wyalong at EW Moore Oval next week.

BREAKING FREE: Luke Farmer sizes up his next challenge after squeezing past two Black and Whites players on Saturday night.

BREAKING FREE: Luke Farmer sizes up his next challenge after squeezing past two Black and Whites players on Saturday night.

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