Waratah break three-year hoodoo over old rivals; Belmont and Cooks Hill level in playoff race | photos

IN CONTROL: Belmont drew level with Hamilton and Cooks Hill on the ladder after their close win over Raymond Terrace. Pictured is Belmont's roaming centre Jaimi Bubb. Picture: Isaac McIntyre
IN CONTROL: Belmont drew level with Hamilton and Cooks Hill on the ladder after their close win over Raymond Terrace. Pictured is Belmont's roaming centre Jaimi Bubb. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

An emphatic victory for Waratah over ‘old enemy’ Hamilton tasted all the sweeter as they leap-frogged their rivals to return to first place.

Their 7-3 win over the defending premiers snapped a nine game run that had seen five draws and four triumphs for Hamilton since the ‘Tahs last tasted victory in the derby, on October 15, 2015.

Early on the match-up the game seemed destined for another draw however, with Waratah’s 3-2 lead at the break seeming marginal.

A 4-1 second half to the league leaders, sparked in part by a series of second-phase catches and a handful of doubles for Luke Ellis and Andrew de Souza, was too much for Hamilton to overcome.

Even as Hamo fell, Belmont moved level with them on the table with a 9-8 win over Raymond Terrace.

The first season at Oakdale Arena may have been a blessing for the squad, as their win puts them 6 points clear into a playoff position, and a chance to play finals for the first time in the club’s history.

Although the Terrace failed to secure competitive points, the match-up was as close as league fixtures get, with Dan Jenkinson putting in another surging performance for the second week in a row.

Maddie Jordan and Jaimi Bubb both shone for Belmont in their win, and their uptick in form in Season 10 may have already played a crucial part in the Bels chance for a miracle run to the finals.

SURGING: After a stuttering start to the season, Cooks Hill have surged to three wins and a draw in the past four weeks to bring them level with second-placed Hamilton.

SURGING: After a stuttering start to the season, Cooks Hill have surged to three wins and a draw in the past four weeks to bring them level with second-placed Hamilton.

The last match of the round was responsible for the three-way tie from second to fourth on the ladder, as Cooks Hill recorded their third straight win.

After victories against Hamilton and the ‘Tahs in the past two fixtures, the Cookers nearly let slip their red-hot form against Rutherford, but a late surge as well as shining performances from Caleb Gribble and new recruit Tom Newman earned them the points.

Led by vice-captain Lewis Foot after Benjamin McIntyre was side-lined with injury, the team faced a tough contest down centre court against Rutherford’s Peter Goldthorpe, but managed to walk away with the 9-6 win.

McIntyre is reportedly expected to return next round when Cooks Hill face Belmont.

Competition Table: Waratah (18), Hamilton (14), Belmont (14), Cooks Hill (14), Rutherford (8), Raymond Terrace (4).

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Round 7 Fixtures

  • Raymond Terrace v Waratah (6.30pm)
  • Hamilton v Rutherford (7.15pm)
  • Cooks Hill v Belmont (8.00pm)