WINGHAM Tigers weren't at their best but still had too much class for a determined Old Bar Pirates in the Group Three Rugby League game at Old Bar.
The Tigers scored a comfortable 38-4 victory, their fifth-in-a-row.
Minus a few regulars, including prop Blake Fraser, winger Lachlan Williams and second rower Tim Watson, Wingham struggled for cohesion and dropped a lot of ball, but always had the home side's measure in a game played in perfect conditions and in front of a handy crowd. Williams was a late withdrawal and his place went to to fellow under 18 player Jarrad Gibson, who had earlier featured in the junior game. Gibson produced a sound performance in his first grade debut.
Old Bar put in plenty of effort, as has been the case all year, but have problems scoring points. Prop and captain Shannon Ellem along with lock Corey Sheehan - both former Tigers - were Old Bar's hardest workers.
Wingham's forwards, led by hard working lock Brendan Butler, paved the way. Butler isn't a flashy type, but he is usually the first to take the ball to the defence.
Hooker Mitch Collins has been in super form for Wingham from day one this season. He produced a couple of smart kicks in general play against the Pirates to complement his running game from dummy half.
Centre Kurt Lewis is starting to run into the form that made him among the best attacking players in Group Three a couple years ago. Midway through the second half Collins and Lewis combined to send winger Brodie Myer over for the best try of the game, with Collins delaying the pass perfectly for Lewis, who was looping around the hooker. Lewis then sent a a long pass to the unmarked Myer.
"You can pass the ball Kurt,'' quipped a Wingham official from the sideline.
Old Bar's defence was equal to the task for the opening 20 minutes. However, the Tigers ran in tries to Collins, interchange forward Jackson Mullen and coach Mick Sullivan before halftime, with Danny Russell landed two conversions, making it 16-0. Centre Bayley Farr broke Old Bar's duck early in the second half but normal transmission was resumed when Butler took a pass close to the line to run in another try for Wingham.
As was the case the previous match Sullivan gave himself an early mark, leaving the field with around 15 minutes with his side well in command.