RUGBY League convert Michael Rees made an outstanding full game debut for Manning Ratz in the Lower North Coast Rugby Union match against Wauchope at Taree Rugby Park.
Rees previously played in the forwards for Wingham in the Group Three Rugby League competition. However, it was at fullback were he starred for the Ratz as they overpowered a determined Wauchope Thunder 33-8. He played half a game the previous week but this was his first game in the run-on side.
While the scoreline finished comfortably in the Taree combination's favour, Thunder were in the contest midway through the second half when Rees took an intercept and raced 90 metres to score a converted try. The Ratz finished too strongly from there to maintain their impressive and unbeaten start to the season.
It was a good day for the Rees brothers, with Michael's brother, Dave, strong in the pack while Luke Couch also had a big game.
Ratz coach Danial Stone wasn't totally happy with the performance, saying his side made a number of errors while he was also concerned with the number of penalties they conceded.
"We kept putting ourselves under pressure,'' Stone said.
He said Thunder were the most physical side the Ratz have faced this season.
"They'll improve,'' he said.
The Ratz have the bye this weekend and will face Old Bar Clams at Old Bar on Saturday May 25.
An impressive Wauchope side thrashed the Ratz 63-5 in the women's 10s encounter.
"They'd beat some of the men's side,'' Stone said.