HAMILTON coach Scott Coleman has no doubts that Fiso Vasegote could be playing at a level well beyond the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union.
The Kiwi-born winger delivered on a pre-match promise to step up and scored a hat-trick in a 68-18 win over Southern Beaches on Saturday to seal the Hawks a fourth straight minor premiership, despite one round remaining.
Vasegote beat three defenders in a brilliant 50 metre solo effort in the fourth minute, strolled over untouched in the 57th minute and burned his opposite with an in-and-away from a standing start in the 70th minute.
The treble took Vasegote to 12 tries for the season, two behind Southern Beaches fullback Adrian Delore, who missed Saturday’s defeat due to concussion.
“Fiso is one of those guys, who if he pushed himself and committed 100 per cent, he wouldn’t be playing in Newcastle, he would be at a higher level,” Coleman said. “He is content to kick back and live life. He promised the boys he would win the game and he stood up.”
As well as score tries, the 27-year-old helped lay on two with bursts up the middle of the field.
“We want him to come in hunting for the ball and be involved as much as possible,” Coleman said. “We put the challenge to him after the game. He has set the bar now, he has to keep getting higher and higher and not come down.”
The win, the eighth straight since Coleman took back the reins after the departure of David Clark, moved the Hawks to 65 points and out of reach of Maitland in second.
“The minor premiership was a tick in the box,” Coleman said. “The boys were happy but they know we are only halfway there.”
The top three are now locked in after Maitland and Merewether recorded comprehensive wins.
Wingers Dale Clacherty and Isaac Ulberg each scored doubles to help lead the Blacks to a 58-19 triumph over University.
However, they face an anxious wait after prop Willie Soe was sent off on a touch judge’s report for an elbow and will front the judiciary .
Breakaway Sam Dart and winger Kosta Sykiotis also scored braces as the Greens powered past Lake Macquarie 70-26 at Walters Park.
Nelson Bay could be without gun breakaway Sapati Peniata for the elimination semi in a fortnight after he was given a red card for punching in the Gropers’ 62-19 win over Singleton at Rugby Park.
The Gropers have the bye in the final round and any suspension would rule Peniata out of the opening week of the finals.