Wingham claim inaugural Kristylea Bridge Charity Cup

Former NRL star Michael Buettner played a full game for the Bulls in support of the Kristylea Bridge Charity Cup.

Former NRL star Michael Buettner played a full game for the Bulls in support of the Kristylea Bridge Charity Cup.

WINGHAM will now target third place on the Group Three Rugby League competition ladder after ending a three game losing streak by defeating Taree City 28-24 in an entertaining match at the Jack Neal Oval.

The Tigers were sitting in third spot before they went into the slump.

They're now fourth, two points shy of this Saturday's opponents, Old Bar.

"We have to win our last four games to finish third and that's what we're going to do,'' coach Stu Baker predicted at fulltime.

"We have a couple of blokes back next weekend so we'll start again.''

Wingham also took home the impressive Kristylea Bridge Charity Cup for the first time. The two clubs will now play for the cup annually.

This is the second piece of silverware the Tigers have won this year after they also took out the pre-season competition.

Wingham led for the majority of the game, but couldn't put the determined Taree side away. The Bulls played with the intensity of a grand final.

However, the Bulls paid the price for coughing up possession in their own territory just when they'd clawed their way back into the contest. The side doesn't defend strongly enough to be placing that much pressure on themselves.

Prop Logan Pocklington and busy halfback Adam Kerr were Wingham's best. Kerr is usually a hooker but Baker switched him to seven in the absence of the injured Mitch Steel and he worked for the full 80 minutes, while Pocklington was usually the first forward to take the ball up for the Tigers.

Lock Matt Bartlett also rocked the Bulls with some fierce tackles while hooker Michael Rees' goal kicking was decisive.

Hooker Luke Murray was the pick for Taree and the best on ground. He was smart out of dummy half and picked his time when to run.

Prop Josh Northam caused Wingham's defence plenty of worries with his strong charges.

The teams trooped off at halftime with the scores locked at 12-12.

It looked like it was going to be a benefit day for the Tigers early when Wingham dominated field position and Michael Richards worked his way over for the opening try. Rees added the goal and it was 6-0.

Murray instigated and scored Taree's first when he made a break from dummy half, picked up centre Tim Alliston, then backed up to take a pass from Alliston to race over. He then kicked the conversion.

Bartlett bumped through ineffective tackles to edge Wingham in front with a converted try and Northam replied with one of his specials from close to the line to lock it up at lemons.

The sides traded tries in the second section to have the scores level at 24-24. But Taree's error rate was mounting and when halfback Mick Henry piloted the ball out on the full the Bulls were in defensive mode.

From the next six centre Joel Kleindienst pushed off tackles to cross for the game breaker.

Even though the conversion went astray Wingham had enough resolve to hang on and grab a vital win.

See also: Buettner boosts Taree City Bulls and Gallery

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