Central North Rugby: Pirates thrash Tamworth

Speed and power make a lethal mix – just ask Tamworth.

The Magpies felt the full force of Pirates’ mastery as the defending Central North champions produced their best performance of the season at Ken Chillingworth Oval on Saturday.

Brightening what has been a tough week following the passing of club stalwart Col Easter and former coach Denis O’Callaghan, Pirates completely outplayed their cross-town rivals thumping them 84-6.

Centres Brendan Rixon and Damian Reti, and second rower Doug Biffin all crossed twice in the 15 tries to nil romp, Biffin also picking up the inaugural Graham Yeo Shield as the most valuable player.

The Magpies were under the pump from the opening minutes, losing winger James Hall to injury inside the first two minutes and then having to defend a lineout about 10m out and three scrums on their line. Pirates looked to be over from the third but Conrad Starr was ruled to have knocked on.

It was a lucky break for the Magpies, who then had a good opportunity of their own up the other end but their execution let them down.

Bart Leach eventually got Pirates on the board in the 24th minute. Their bread and butter, it eventuated from a good drive off the lineout and a quick pick and drive.

The Magpies hit back with a penalty but Pirates were swift with their reply, Matt Cannon crossing for his first after a strong run from prop Nick McCrohan.

Andrew Moodie strolled through for the easiest of tries a minute later, Starr this time sending the Magpies defence into scramble mode with a 10m charge off the back of the scrum.

Minutes later Rixon exposed the Magpies’ flimsy defence brushing off three or four players, as in the space of 10 minutes 5-3 quickly blew out to 24-6.

here was more to come, Damian Reti scoring untouched in the final seconds of the first half.

Pirates were in again in the opening minute of the second half.

From there it was an avalanche of points.

Reti bagged his second not long after, the ease of it illustrating Pirates’ dominance. Magpies replacement Cooper Thompson had done well to keep a searching kick from Moodie in play but kicked the ball straight down Pirates fullback Simon Trappel’s throat.

Running back at a virtually non-existent chase line Trappel made good metres, and a simple catch and pass, put Reti away.

After watching his team-mates get over the chalk, Starr scored his customary try as Pirates hit the half-century with just under half an hour to go.

Simon Trappel, Tim Bellis and Tim Collins all added their names to the scoresheet before Mitch Bath put the exclamation on the win with a try after the bell after Starr had beaten two defenders.

Playing his 100th game for the club, Collins was given the honour of taking the final conversion and nailed it.