"Old-school" rugby helps Blacks stay undefeated

CRUISE CONTROL: Griffith's Dan Rawaqa.

CRUISE CONTROL: Griffith's Dan Rawaqa.

Rugby union

THE Griffith Blacks overcame a slow first half on Saturday to continue their impressive start to the Southern Inland Rugby Union season.

After holding a 7-0 lead at half-time, the Blacks hit the mark in the second stanza to record a 31-17 victory over the Temora Tuskers.

The result means that Griffith remains undefeated after six rounds of the Southern Inland competition and sit in fourth position on the first-grade ladder, having played two fewer games than the sides that occupy the top three.

Coach Seru Rogo said it was “an old-school” match at the Coro Club Oval and praised his forward pack for its performance.

“It was a good win because it was a really tough game,” Rogo said.

“It was a really good tussle in the front row – there were big 

bodies clashing and big tackles made.

“It was old-school rugby played in the right rugby spirit.”

The Blacks hit the scoreboard early when a rampaging Max Ravouvou found his way through Temora’s defence.

Fiji international Dan Rawaqa slotted the conversion to give the home side a seven-point advantage and that’s how it remained at the break.

Rogo was calm in his address at half-time and encouraged his players to keep working hard.

The Blacks responded through tries to Rawaqa, Ravouvou and Tino Kaue. 

Rawaqa nailed three conversions and a penalty goal to round out the 31-17 win and is beginning to live up to his reputation as a true point-scoring machine.

Rogo said Griffith’s best players were Rawaqa and big forwards Paulo Vea, Nick Gleeson, Daniel Dowson and Michael Stalley.

He was also impressed with the performance of the Tuskers, last year’s Romano’s Cup winners.

“Temora is a top line team,” Rogo said.

“They really put it to us and came out firing.”

Rogo said his own team was “rolling on slowly”, but said his forward pack needs to tighten up in defence if the Blacks are to maintain their unbeaten start to the SIRU campaign.

“We keep grinding slowly, but we are going in the right direction,” he said.

“We have three big teams the next three weeks so we’ll see how we go, but we’ll keep working hard.”

Griffith will face competition leaders Wagga Waratahs next week followed by Charles Sturt University and the Albury Steamers.

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