HALFBACK Adrian Davis returned to something like his best form as Forster-Tuncurry produced a semi-final-like performance to account for Wingham 30-12 in the Group Three Rugby League game at Wingham.
Davis has been below par in recent weeks.
"I told you, a bit of smoke and mirrors last week,'' Forster captain-coach Nathan Campbell laughed at fulltime, referring to the decision to start Davis from the bench for the clash against Macleay Valley.
"He's class and now he's settled in and we've gelled as a group. The result shows.''
Davis took command of the encounter. He scored a smart individual try in the second half, threw a pass that resulted in a four pointer to centre Beau Lowry and kicked five conversions in a strong all-round effort.
In all there was plenty to like about the Hawks. They completed at a high rate while their defence was solid as they virtually shut Wingham out of the contest.
"Brilliant effort,' Campbell continued.
"They're the games we need to win. It was always going to be tough because you can never write Wingham off, particularly up here. They're a gritty team and you have to get down and dirty.''
Campbell wouldn't go as far as saying it was the Hawks' best performance of the year however, he said he was pleased with the completion rate.
"I was proud of them. We had the two consecutive losses and now we've hit back with two wins.''
Winger Ronald Uhilla is a Hawk who impresses with his work-rate.
They're the games we need to win. It was always going to be tough because you can never write Wingham off, particularly up here.- Forster captain-coach Nathan Campbell
"The hidden gem,'' Campbell said.
'"Ronny came to Forster, we didn't recruit him and he's settled right in. He's a character.''
Hooker Riley Glover rarely produces a poor performance and he was the best Hawk on display. Nippy out of dummy half, Glover constantly torments the defence.
The Tigers went into the match minus injured captain-coach Mitch Collins and halfback Jarom Haines. Both were missed, particularly Collins, who is the fulcrum for much of the side's attack.
Collins broke his hand in the win over Taree City last week and will see a surgeon soon to determine whether his season is over.
He was a despondent at fulltime and admitted watching from the sideline was difficult.
"It wasn't real pretty to watch,'' he said.
"We were a bit slow around the ruck and our last tackle options crucified us. We had no trouble getting up the field but once we got into their territory our attack was pretty ordinary.''
Second rower, Joel Kleindienst was strong in attack for the Tigers while Jackson and Jake Mullen both worked hard in the middle.
The Tigers have signed a new centre, Ryan Weatherall from the Group 21 area, although he had few chances to shine against the Hawks.
He'll be better for the run.
The Hawks were in early after big centre, Greg Davis took a pass from five-eighth Aaron Hill to smash his way over for Adrian Davis to convert.
The Hawks had dominated the opening exchanges and Uhilia was in soon after when Glover put in a kick from short range and the winger was first to the ball.
Davis then landed an angled conversion.
Wingham stand-in captain Aaron Groom crashed through for his customary try from close range for Fletcher Lewis to add the extras to reduce the margin to six, but interchange forward Anthony Kerwin worked is way over for Forster's third converted try.
Seconds before halftime Lewis added a penalty after Davis attempted a short line drop that didn't go the required distance and the Hawks led 18-8.
The second half was more of the same, with Davis and Lowry both crossing for the Hawks and Davis was spot-on with the conversions. Nick Beacham scored for the Tigers.
Wingham won the league tag game 12-8 while Coffs Harbour accounted for Wingham 12-6 in the North Coast women's rugby league game. The teams shared the points in reserve grade with a 14-14 draw.
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