AFTER having lost their last two games, the Wingham Tigers were at home to last year's undefeated premiers, the Wauchope Blues in Group Three Rugby League.
The visitors were denied a try early, before Riki Toby scored from a kick on the final tackle. Michael Rees added the extra points for a 6-0 lead.
Midway through the half, Wauchope scored back-to-back ties to lead 10-6.
Ten minutes before half time, the Tigers took the lead again when a short ball from Matt Bridge saw Tim Watson score near the posts. With Michael Rees' kick, the score was 12-10.
Soon after, the Blues scored again to lead 14-12.
Then, after the half time siren, Wauchope threw the ball around, resulting in a try in the corner to take an 18-12 advantage into the break.
Within the first ten minutes of the second half, the game was tied up at 18-18 after another Tim Watson try, converted by Michael Rees.
The Tigers were gaining the upper hand, and were looking to pull off an upset win.
However, with 10 minutes remaining, several refereeing decisions had the Tigers coaching staff furious.
Firstly, Aaron Bakewell was lifted and slammed to the ground in a tackle, dislodging the ball. Instead of a Wingham penalty, a scrum was set with a Wauchope feed.
From the scrum win, the Blues half back lost the ball in a tackle. The ball was hit by a Wingham hand but went backwards. Wauchope retrieved the ball and passed it to the centre who dropped the ball.
The referee ruled a scrum with a Blues feed. Two tackles later, Wauchope scored under the posts for a 24-18 lead.
From the set after the kick-off, an attempted 40-20 kick bounced backwards towards the Wauchope players who picked up the ball and scored in the corner.
It was a great game of rugby league, but Wauchope were victorious by 28-18.
(Tim Watson 2, Riki Toby tries, Michael Rees 3 goals).
IT was a see-sawing game in the reserve grade clash. An early Wauchope try was counteracted by a try by Piripi Parangi which was converted by Nick Beacham.
The Blues went ahead 12-6 with a try midway through the half.
Veteran Brenden Summerfield put the Tigers back on level terms with a try converted by Shaun Chapman.
An intercept try to Garyn Burnes, with Shaun Chapman adding the extra points, put Wingham ahead 18-12.
Another try to Nick Beacham, which he also converted gave the home team a half time lead of 24-12.
Wauchope added another converted try midway through the second stanza to bring them within six points of the Tigers.
A field goal to Garyn Burnes three minutes from full time, and another by Nick Beacham right on the full time siren gave Wingham a 26-18 victory.
(Piripi Parangi, Brenden Summerfield, Garyn Burnes, Nick Beacham tries, Nick Beacham 2, Shaun Chapman goals, Garyn Burnes, Nick Beacham field goals).
THE Tigers began the under 18s game well with a try to Jake Mullen, converted by Ben Gallagher for a 6-0 lead.
But five tries to Wauchope at regular intervals made the half time score 28-6.
Wingham started the second half well with another try to Jake Mullen from dummy half on the last tackle, with Ben Gallagher adding the extra points.
But a mistake from the touch judge from the kick-off, where the ball was caught dead in-goal, was ruled to be a line drop out, and Wauchope scored in that set.
Two more tries made the final score 44-12 in favour of the Blues.
(Jake Mullen 2 tries, Ben Gallagher 2 goals).
THE Wingham Women's League Tag were beaten 26-10 after being down 20-6 at half time.
Rikki Salmon scored the try, converted by Rhiannon Fuller.
Both teams scored one try in the second half; the Tigers' from Rhiannon Fuller in the corner.
(Rikki Salmon try, Rhiannon Fuller goal)
Next weekend, the Tigers have a free weekend. Supporters are invited to the Australian Hotel at 6.30pm on Saturday July 5 for a costume party. There will also be a DJ.
The following Saturday, Wingham play the Taree City Bulls at Jack Neal Oval.