The Forster Tuncurry Dolphins extended their unbeaten run to seven games in a 43-10 eclipse of the Wallamba Bulls, champions of the 2017 and 2018 Lower Mid North Coast rugby union premierships, at Tuncurry's Peter Barclay Field on Saturday.
The Dolphins have rebuilt their playing depth since their defeat in last year's Kennards Hire grand final, with big, destructive forwards, Blake Polson and Hau Honemau, coming into the pack and former players such as Jesse Logan, Kurt Forester, Liam Brady, Nigel Pereira and Mark Quillan rejoining the club.
The Dolphins' seven tries to two success against the Bulls was achieved without the trio of Tongan forwards who have joined the club, on this occasion all in Sydney, with their employment services temporarily not required on their building site in Forster.
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On the other side of the slate, Forster's Dolphinettes experienced an afternoon of hellfire as Wallamba's superb little match-winner, Courtney Currie, spirited her way through their ranks for an astonishing eight tries in her team's 122-0 success in the women's 10s competition.
Courtney might have had two more tries, but in a generous mood, she donated them to team-mates.
She ran in seven tries in their previous encounter.
Perhaps Wauchope Thunder's X are not the certainties predicted after all.
Nevertheless, they had a prosperous afternoon against the Manning River Ratz last weekend, winning 61-0.
Last season's champions, the Gloucester Cockies, won well too, defeating Old Bar, 52-0.
Whatever changes have occurred within the Dolphins' men's team, there is no doubting the quality of stalwart forwards, Ben Manning, Gavin Maberly-Smith, Sean Hassett, Rob Avard and backs Matt Nuku and Mark Hagarty, as well as ageless warrior, Tom Harris.
Before his water skiing accident, Harris could do anything.
He picked up a ball on the far side of the lineout and scored a marvellous try against the Bulls, one of his three on Saturday.
But these were not the roaring Bulls of 2017-18.
Coach Peter White has inherited a weakened side for all the quality of hooker/flanker Daniel Hessing, breakaways Rhys Hessing and Andy Paynter and the Tout brothers, and their player of the day, Ash Rushby.
In the other men's game, the Manning River Ratz had a morale-restoring win after their loss to the Wallamba Bulls the previous weekend, overcoming the Wauchope Thunder, 29-19.
FORSTER 43 (T Harris 3 M Nuku B Polson B Manning A Fox tries; Nuku 3 goals H Sweeney goals) beat WALLAMBA 10 (K Cohen C Tout tries).
MANNING RIVER 29 beat WAUCHOPE 19. OLD BAR bye.
WOMEN'S 10s: WALLAMBA 122 (C Currie 8 A Simon 3 T Williams 2 A Lamborne 2 K Schumacher H Dunk S Nixon L Benson T Goolagong G Simon tries; K Schumacher 5 goals S Cobb 3 goals) beat FORSTER TUNCURRY 0.
WAUCHOPE 61 beat MANNING RIVER 0. GLOUCESTER 52 beat OLD BAR 0.
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