The thunder echoing from Wauchope on Saturday rang from the front-running Forster Tuncurry rugby union club's new islander acquisitions, one from distant Tonga and the other from nearby Oxley Island, as the Dolphins' men's team battered Wauchope to a 48-nil defeat.
Both dynamic, 110kg-running forwards, "Hau" Honemau and his Australian team-mate, Blake Polson, made repeated battering charges into the Thunder's ranks with five-eighth Matt Nuku orchestrating the event to pave the way to a 31-0 lead by the interval.
By then, the game was won and lost.
But the boot was on the other foot in the early game as Wauchope's women's team continued their rampaging run in the Kennards Hire minor premiership, the Thunder extending their competition lead in birching the Dolphinettes, 94-14.
Here, Ellie Johnston was her usual magnificent, dominant self in scoring five tries with Telea Waitoa, Grace Tijou and Bree Green each running in three tries.
The Thunder's ladies are a superb unit, containing strength and power in their forward pack and blistering speed in the backs, a glorious combination of youth and experience.
The minor premiership is theirs for the taking as a result of the Manning River Ratz providing the upset of the afternoon in defeating last season's champions, the Gloucester Cockies, 17-5, at Taree Rugby Park.
With the Ratz' men's team having the bye, the Wallamba Bulls kept a major semi-final position in their sights by overcoming the Old Bar Clams, 56-13.
Wauchope are the essential club in Lower Mid North Coast rugby this winter after three years in the Upper M.N.C. competition.
The thought of the six clubs transferring to a larger premiership involving more clubs and greater travelling distance is abhorrent to all.
In Tuncurry, coach Ron McCarthy is grooming a formidable male team, this year's playing numbers excellent and the club's organisation under Damian Daczko and Sue Hobbs outstanding.
The Dolphins have a powerful pack with hardened troopers in props Ben Manning and Gavin Maberly-Smith and hookers Nathan Johnson and Scott Walmsley, complemented by an efficient lineout in jumpers Rob Avard and Sean Hassett.
Tom Harris is the priceless utility man, at half or breakaway.
Chris Simon has returned, providing strength and experience, on this occasion responsible for two tries, as was hooker Johnson.
Invariably, the game's direction is determined by five-eighth Nuku, his deft handwork often as bewildering as his footwork, at least two tries emanating from his sleight of hand.
Beside him at inside-centre, skipper Mark Hagarty is the silent assassin.
This is a special winter for the Dolphins. The men are playing good rugby.
Now in the last five weeks of the minor premiership it is time for Savannah Clements' women's team to show its mettle.
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FORSTER TUNCURRY 48 (N Johnson 2 C Simon 2 B Polson H Honemau M Hagarty H Sweeney tries; M Nuku 2 goals H Sweeney 2 goals) beat WAUCHOPE 0. WALLAMBA 56 beat OLD BAR 13. MANNING RIVER bye.
WOMEN'S 10-a-side: WAUCHOPE (E Johnston 5 G Tijou 3 T Waitoa 3 B Green 3 P Rock 2 tries; Waitoa 3 goals Tijou 3 Johnston goal) beat FORSTER TUNCURRY 14 (S Clements C Foley tries; B Rugari 2 goals); MANNING RIVER 17 beat GLOUCESTER 5. WALLAMBA 55 beat OLD BAR 5.
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