Waratahs make most of Blueheelers' mistakes

PINNED DOWN: Two Waratah Tigers wrap up Yenda winger Josh Bryant on Saturday night.
PINNED DOWN: Two Waratah Tigers wrap up Yenda winger Josh Bryant on Saturday night.

Group 20 rugby league

THE Griffith Waratah Tigers capitalised on another fumbly, error-riddled display from the Yenda Blueheelers on Saturday night, winning 30-22 at Wade Park.

A parade of ball-handling mistakes at crucial times saw the home side surrender a 12-8 half-time lead and allowed the in-form 'Tahs to edge ahead in the second stanza.

Ex-Yenda junior Shorne Ngu crossed on the buzzer to put the icing on the cake for the Waratahs, the six-tries-to-four win keeping them firmly in the upper echelons of the Group 20 ladder.

For the Blueheelers, some soul-searching may be in order after coach Roy Romeo admitted his side was in a "rut" and is still a work-in-progress.

"It was just some silly stuff that killed us," he said.

"The 'Tahs weren't great but obviously they were better than what we were - that's why they got the two points.

"It was just one of those games.

"We're just in that rut where everything goes against you - you make mistakes, all the calls go against you.

"That's football sometimes. All we can do is dig in deep and push forward.

"We've got a lot of work to do."

Yenda did win the forward battle, with Damien Payne and Tom Sellars leading the way for the Blueheelers in nullifying the threat of wrecking ball Mike Ioapo and mobile second-rower Moahoni Lelei.

But Romeo admitted his side perhaps focused too much on the big boppers and not enough on the outside backs, where Kose Lelei and Johnny Teleaga ran riot.

"We didn't take advantage," Romeo said.

"When they take it out wide, they're pretty quick, and that was probably Kose's best game since he's been here.

"You give a player like him a bit of space and he takes it.

"Those two were the difference - especially the fullback Johnny, he was electrifying. 

"Any time there was a half-break, he was there."

Sellars finished with two tries, while Geff Cook and Josh Curphey scored the others for Yenda.

The Blueheelers were without injured hooker Tama Miratana, while fullback Kyle Charles suffered a head knock in the first five minutes and didn't return.

The Waratahs have the bye this week but it doesn't get easier for Yenda, who must travel to face top side West Wyalong.

"We've got to regroup. As long as we're competitive, I'll be happy," Romeo said.


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