SATISFIED coach Tim Chidgey is confident Southern Beaches have laid a solid platform for a tough month ahead after they shut out a beefed-up The Waratahs 30-0 at Cahill Oval yesterday.
Beaches scored three tries in each half, including a hat-trick to winger Ty Marshall, to move to 53 points and keep the pressure on Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union competition leaders Hamilton (55).
The score would have been greater if not for goalkicker Tim Riley having an off day, failing to kick a conversion.
‘‘It wasn’t our best performance, but we had quite a few players out today and the guys who came in stepped up,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘We never looked like losing. The forwards set it up and the back three scored all the points. The pleasing part about it was that they did not cross our tryline and we won with a bonus point.’’
The win was Beaches’ fifth straight. They now tackle Merewether, Hamilton, Lake Macquarie and Wanderers in a testing period.
‘‘It is a massive month coming up but we are in pretty good shape,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘There are areas we need to improve. We need to be stronger at the breakdown and make sure we play for 80minutes. We scored in the opening three minutes and although we didn’t let them back into the game, we dropped to their level.’’
The Tahs were boosted by the arrival of Tongan international Pepa Koloamatangi, prop Alipate Vakarau and No.8 Roberts Puliuvea.
‘‘They had a few blokes who we hadn’t seen before,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘They had a big pack, that is for sure.’’
On Saturday, Maitland came back from a 16-5 deficit at half-time to overpower Lake Macquarie 27-21 at Marcellin Park.
The confidence-boosting win ensured the Blacks stayed above the Roos in fifth place and followed back-to-back losses to Southern Beaches and Hamilton.
‘‘We had to win, otherwise we would have been back chasing the pack,’’ Maitland coach Geoff Golledge said.
‘‘They were exactly what we thought; pretty hard, pretty fast. It was the most physical game we have played this year.’’
The visitors dominated possession early and skipped away to 13-5 lead.
The Blacks were reduced to 14 men when Adam Perkins was sent to sin bin in the first half, but their defence remained strong.
‘‘We defended our line for the whole 10 minutes, which I think was the turning point,’’ Golledge said.
‘‘Had they scored during that period they probably would have got out of reach.
‘‘The way we defended, it put us on the front foot and we were really confident at half-time. We came straight out after the break and put on a couple of tries.
‘‘We didn’t have much ball in the first half but the second half it evened out.
‘‘To Lake Macquarie’s credit they never gave up.’’
Elsewhere on Saturday, Paul Mlotkowski scored two tries on the way to 18 points as he helped ignite Wanderers to a 48-10 win over University at No.2 Sportsground. The result allowed the Two Blues to retain the Brad Nichols Shield.
Canadian winger Byron Tyree scored four tries on debut as Hamilton thrashed Singleton 77-5 at Rugby Park.
Completing a good day for wingers, Merewether flyer Lewis Dunn crossed for a brace as the Greens flexed their muscles, beating Nelson Bay 43-5 at Strong Oval.