AFTER a tough road trip to Kempsey, the Wingham Tigers were back at the Wingham Sporting Complex in their last home game before the Group Three Rugby League final series.
With still half a dozen players unavailable through injury, the Tigers were taking on traditional rivals the Forster-Tuncurry Hawks.
It was the visitors who started strongly to lead 12-0 after a quarter of an hour with two converted tries.
It took until five minutes from halftime for Wingham to get on the scoreboard with a try to Alex Studdert.
Straight after the break, Luke Steel scored in the canteen corner to reduce the deficit to 12-8.
By 10 minutes into the second stanza, scores were level after Shannon Ellem crossed in the opposite corner.
Midway through the half, the Tigers went ahead for the first time when Mitch Collins pounced on a dropped bomb to score beside the posts. Michael Rees added the extra points.
Five minutes later Wingham were reduced to 12 players when Michael Rees was sent off in an incident that was only seen by the officials and no-one else at the ground, including the players.
A couple of minutes later, Matt Bridge added a penalty goal for a 20-12 lead.
Inside the final 10 minutes, Aaron Bakewell scored in the canteen corner.
A final minute penalty goal to Matt Bridge made the final score 26-12.
(Alex Studdert, Luke Steel, Shannon Ellem, Mitch Collins, Aaron Bakewell tries,
Matt Bridge 2, Michael Rees goals).
The second placed Tigers were against the bottom placed Forster Tuncurry team in reserve grade.
The Hawks scored early to lead 6-0 before back-to-back tries by Brad Sowter and Brad Staff gave Wingham a 10-6 advantage.
A try five minutes before the break by Mitch Sweeney, converted by Nick Beacham, made the half time score 16-6.
The visitors scored inside the first 10 minutes of the second half to make the score 16-10.
Midway through the half, captain Chris Butler was sin-binned.
However, with 10 minutes remaining, Tyler Atkins broke through from a scrum win to score. Nick Beacham added the extra points. The Tigers were victorious by 22-10.
(Brad Sowter, Brad Staff, Mitch Sweeney, Tyler Atkins tries,
Nick Beacham 3 goals).
The under 18s were locked in a battle with Forster Tuncurry to secure third position on the competition table.
Chad Lonsdale scored in the corner for a 4-0 lead after two minutes.
A penalty goal by Ben Gallagher pushed the advantage to six points.
Just before the break, Reece Slaven scored in the corner. Ben Gallagher's sideline conversion made the score 12-0 at half time.
Inside the first 10 minutes of the second stanza, Reece Slaven scored his second try, also in the corner.
A try to Blake Fraser midway through the half was enough for Wingham to record a 20-0 win.
(Reece Slaven 2, Chad Lonsdale, Blake Fraser tries, Ben Gallagher 2 goals).
The Wingham women's league tag were up against the undefeated competition leaders.
The Hawks led 16-0 at half time, and increased the score to 38-0 by the final siren.
The Wingham Tigers have this weekend off before heading to Port Macquarie on Sunday, August 17 to play Port City Breakers in the final game before the finals.