Monday, May 27, 2024

Hay Cutters vs Griffith Blacks

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Tom Lilburne, The Riverine Grazier

On Friday night the Cutters hosted Griffith Blacks for their first home game of the season.

Cutters were determined to maintain their undefeated streak at home, which currently stands at four years.

Griffith bolstered a 23-man side to the Cutters 17, with double points on the line for the match up.

In the pouring rain, the stoic women congregated for Ladies Night, which had been moved forward from the Saturday to suit the travelling Griffith side. 

Mel Graham led the boys out as Captain as the veteran skipper returns for his first game of the season, and returns for his eighth season.

The first ten minutes saw a brutal battle on the field as Griffith came out strong, but was no match for the more aggressive and driven Cutters side.

Cutters eventually wore down and broke the Blacks spirit, crossing the line through the damaging centre combination of Digby Lilburne and Harry Agar.

Glen Nadin at five-eight established an alliance with Mel at flyhalf utilising the forwards to punish the Blacks before spreading it wide to the backs which would crash through the line and gain valuable metres.

It wasn’t long before the Cutters had put three tries on the Blacks and had viciously asserted themselves on the field which saw the Blacks have next to no ball possession and fearful and clumsy when so.

At half time spirits were high as Hay lead 17-0, a few minor injuries were sorted out as Agar soldiered through a knee injury and Jack Lawrence with his second black eye in a row returned to the field to finish what was started.

Second half started strong with Cutters crossing twice early in the half, which established the end for Griffith and a Cutters fighting spirit that went right through the final buzzer.

With the rain picking up and Griffith worn out, the game got sloppy with errors that slowed down the game, with over 10 scrums packed through the night.

Line outs were strong as well with Jack Lawrence jumping in attack and lighter man Angus Helps in defence.

Debutant Jack Shand showed his eagerness as he came on at flanker getting amongst the action in second half.

Tom O’Farrety had a blinder on the wing with a couple half field run aways, with Angus Helps single handily saving the only try that Griffith came close to scoring.

James Lott and Ben Ryan were loudest on the field, who pushed and motivated the boys through the night.

Rupert Lilburne was close behind his brother’s incredible performance whose IQ around the ruck shone through the younger inexperienced Blacks.

Kicking through the night was shared amongst the players with Agar’s kicking form still on the slide as Will Brown pick up the slack.

Penalty kicks were covered by Mel, whose reliable boots found the sideline 100 per cent of the night with his signature long safe kicks. 

As the game closed out a triumphant Cutters side emerged.

Ed Lilburne was happy with Cutter’s performance, who showed grit and teamwork which puts the side top of the table and continuing the undefeated streak at home.

Cutters rest next weekend with a bye then host Wagga City Saturday night on May 25.

Cutters welcome all locals to come watch the boys and invite anyone thinking of having a run as the team still look to fill jerseys, training Thursdays 6:30pm Hay No.1.

Players player – Harry Agar, 1 point – Hugo Fraser, 2 points – Jack Lawrence, 3 points – Glen Nadin.

Final score Hay Cutters 40 defeated Griffith Blacks 0 (Tries; Digby Lilburne 2, Jack Lawrence 1, Mel Graham 1, Tom OFarrety 1, Glen Nadin 1, William Marshall 1, Harry Agar 1.

Conversions; Harry Agar 0, Will Brown 3, Digby Lilburne 2.

Cutters would like to thank all women and supporters that watched on despite the weather.

Thank you to Shara Kimpton for putting together a successful Ladies Night and all the sponsors that put into the raffle for the night; Charmed Decor, Hay Jewellers, Two Billy Buttons, Tantrum Hair and Beauty, Fatal Attraction, Shear Outback, Patchwork on the Plains, The Bush Curator, Georgia Hogan Remedial Massage and Centre Spot Flowers.

The Riverine Grazier 15 May 2024

This article appeared in The Riverine Grazier, 15 May 2024.

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