HAMILTON five-eighth Paul Dan heard talk that Southern Beaches were planning to use the infamous ‘‘cattle dog’’ call to ruffle the Hawks’ feathers in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union minor premiership showdown on Saturday.
Beaches had successfully baited Hamilton prop William Soe, who was sent off after receiving two yellow cards for fighting, in the Hawks’ 28-21 loss in their first meeting in week five.
A repeat was supposedly on the cards at Passmore Oval on Saturday.
But rather than be the aggressor, Beaches were blown off the park 46-14 by a clinical Hamilton outfit who have now moved eight points clear at the top of the table.
The Hawks led 21-0 after 15 minutes as they took control from the outset.
The visitors hit back to reduce the margin to 21-14 at half-time but when the Hawks turned up the heat after the break, Beaches couldn’t go with them.
Beaches coach Tim Chidgey scoffed at the suggestion Beaches had to implement the ‘‘cattle dog’’ call made famous by former NSW State of Origin coach Tommy Raudonikis and said any fire in his side’s belly was left at Townson Oval after they trumped Merewether 25-15 in a spiteful clash the week before.
‘‘They forgot to pack their bags when they left Townson Oval,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘They just didn’t turn up to play. The warm-up was pathetic. Their attitude was poor. They just thought it was going to happen and got their arses smacked.’’
Winger Sireli Bainivalu led the way with a hat-trick for the Hawks.
The backs scored five of the home side’s seven tries but it was up front where they asserted their authority, especially in the second half.
‘‘Our scrum was getting over the top of them,’’ Hamilton coach Scott Coleman said.
‘‘At half-time I told them to be physical and up the ante at the breakdown. We did that and blew them away.’’
Chidgey could not have been more damning of his troops.
‘‘We were humiliated,’’ Chidgey said.
‘‘Hamilton were everything we weren’t. They played with enthusiasm, wanted the game more than us and the result obviously meant more to them.
‘‘Physically we are good but mentally guys have to have a look in the mirror.
‘‘There are some heads held pretty low at the moment.
‘‘I don’t normally make changes on one game but I am now.’’
Saturday’s win was the Hawks’ ninth straight and was achieved without NSW Country trio Va Talaileva, Nick Palmer and Lewie Catt.
‘‘We had a bit of luck with the bounce of the ball early,’’ Coleman said.
‘‘In saying that we put ourselves in a position to benefit from any luck.
‘‘Overall it was a very good performance.
‘‘The match had a finals feel about it – the build-up, the week at training.
‘‘The boys were really focused. The warm-up and the feeling in the sheds was probably the best it had been all season. Paul Dan had heard that they were going to call ‘cattle dog’. I told them to concentrate on rugby.
‘‘If it happens back your mate up but if anyone throws a punch one-out, I’d hook them.’’
With four rounds to play six teams remain in contention for the top five.
Nelson Bay were thrashed 55-0 by Maitland, ending any hope the Gropers had of making the finals.
Lake Macquarie were too strong for The Waratahs 36-26 at Waratah Oval, but stayed in sixth place.
Paul Mlotkowski scored a treble as Wanderers ran in 12 tries in 74-15 romp over Singleton at Rugby Park.
Sean Rudder and Nick Bakarich also crossed for hat-tricks to help steer Merewether to an emphatic 68-7 win over University at Townson Oval.