Eden Tigers Brand Sun

Eden 30 Tathra 26

The Eden Tigers 2010 Premiership hopes stayed alive with a last minute try to replacement Ian McBain as they came from behind to end a brave Tathra Sea Eagles season with a 30 points to 26 win.

The match opened with the Tigers scoring in just the 2nd minute of play through winger Darren Griffin and Todd Bolton's conversion from the sideline saw the tigers grab the early advantage. Playing with a strong wind at their back the tigers should have had great field position but they failed to capitalize and use the wind to any advantage. In fact their kicking game was non existent.

Tathra had the majority of possession and were benefiting from a huge penalty count in their favor but could not break the Tigers defence. In fact the Sea Eagles had no less than 6 repeat sets inside the Tigers 40 metre zone but were unable to come up with any points and lacked any real penetration up front.

It took until the 20th minute for Tathra to open their scoring and this came from an Eden attacking play and a loose pass saw winger Matt Heffernan scope up the ball and race 75 meters to score. The conversion attempt was waived away and the Tigers led 6-4.

At the 25 minute mark Eden's Brad Chatfield was penalized while in possession for a play the ball error and referee Ryan had well and truly earned the ire of their supporters.

From the ensuing play Tathra Captain Coach Cameron Cook put through a grubber kick for himself and won the race to the ball to score. Josh Finucane converted and the Sea Eagles led 10 points to 6.

A Tathra mistake from the kick off saw Eden in possession and on the 3rd tackle their Captain Coach Leigh Hennessey ran a great outside in line off a Todd Bolton pass to break the defence and score. Bolton converted and the Tigers were back in front 12-10.

Just prior to Half Time Tathra received another penalty and Josh Finucane calmly piloted the ball over to level the scores at 12 apiece as they went for oranges.

For the majority of the 1st half the Sea Eagles were camped in the Tigers half as a result of a 12 to 2 penalty count and the Tigers defence had worked overtime to keep them in the game. An early injury to Bill Michelin had seen him play little and the tigers appeared to be in trouble.

The 2nd half began as the 1st had finished with the Sea Eagles having all the ball but unable to score. At the 50 minute mark Tathra put through a kick which deflected perfectly for the Sea Eagles of an Eden foot to Tathra's Ned Grainger who scooted past the defence to score out wide. Tathra 16 Eden 12.

Five minutes later and it was all Tathra and this time it was Josh Finucane who received a poor pass, stopped and dummied and sliced through to score under the posts. Josh converted his own try and the Sea Eagles led 22-12. Any thoughts the Tigers had off an easy day were well and truly gone and whatever Coach Hennessey said behind the try line worked as the Tigers from this point on became a totally different side.

From a short kick off Ian McBain regathered and in this set the Tigers on the back of strong runs from English import Tom Lynch and Brad Chatfield put Tathra to the sword. In was in fact Tom Lynch who crossed but Bolton's conversion attempt was waived away. Tathra 22 Eden 16.

The Tigers were now getting their fair share of the ball and it was Ian McBain who started finding holes on the fringes. Following a McBain break down the left side a quick play the ball enabled Leigh Hennessey to cross for his 2nd try but Bolton's conversion attempt again missed but it was game on as Tathra led 22-20 with 15 minutes to play.

Front rower Lynch was coming into his own and making some great inroads while the veteran Baker returned to his punishing best. Billy Michelin gamely returned and while not at his top was taking some controlling. The momentum had shifted and Eden was all over the Sea Eagles. Another great Lynch run and a McBain break led to Eden having a huge overlap and when Matt Bell elected to kick many thought they had blown the chance but a flying Toby Timms managed to win the race to the ball and put the Tigers in front 24 points to 22 with 10 minutes play remaining. Bolton could not convert in the tricky windy conditions.

The match became an arm wrestle as both sides struggled for any line break and Tathra's Coach Cameron Cook hoisted a high kick from half way which in the windy conditions landed perfectly and with the bounce landing in the arms of Josh Finucane he just had to place the ball for a try to the Sea Eagles.

Tathra 26 Eden 24 with 4 minutes of play left.

Tathra completed the next set and had worked play deep into Eden's end. A poor kick saw Eden gain possession with 90 seconds of play left. Three hit ups from the Eden forwards had play just short of half way when they received a penalty. The kick for touch got them over half way and their season was on the line. Another Lynch charge provided room for Ian McBain and he needed no invitation as he showed and went slicing through to score the match winner beside the posts. Bolton converted as the siren sounded and the Tigers lived with a 30-26 victory.

For the Tigers over the full match their Captain Coach Leigh Hennessey was a standout. Whenever the Tigers needed yards he delivered and his defence saved the Tigers on many occasions. He may not be flashy but he was the Standout player and the type of player who comes into their own in finals situations.

He was well supported by Front Rower Tom Lynch who really lifted in the final 30 minutes of play. His charges against the tiring Sea Eagles forwards at the back end of the match provided the platform for the likes of Ian McBain to create havoc.Brad Chatfield was another who although making some errors created havoc when he took the line on direct. His support runners just need to push up more with him.

The Sea Eagles can be proud of their performance and they have some great young talent if they can keep them. Josh Finucane was a constant danger. His footwork and skills can destroy any defence and he was the player that Eden feared the most. Hooker Tom Cryer tried hard all day as did half Mick Collins. All their players put in trade like performances and when they did have go forward their outside backs looked dangerous. Ned Grainger and Rhys Cunningham impressed while Dean Finucane was very willing.


Tries Leigh Hennesey 2, Tom Lynch, Darren Griffin, Toby Timms, Ian McBain.
Goals Todd Bolton 3.
Tries Josh Finucane 2, Matt Heffernan,Ned Grainger,Cameron Cook
Goals Josh Finucane 3.
Scrums Eden 7 Tathra 5
Penalties Eden 4 Tathra 16