A DAN Stuart hat-trick inspired Orange CYMS to their fifth-straight Group 10 premier league victory on Sunday, overcoming a half-time deficit to beat the Oberon Tigers 30-19, in Oberon.
Oberon five-eighth Steve Lane kicked an opportunistic field goal on the stroke of half-time to give his side a 13-12 lead going into the break, before CYMS ran in four second-half tries to steal the win from the Tigers and remain atop the premier league table, equal with the similarly unbeaten Mudgee Dragons.
In CYMS’ first game away from the comfort of Wade Park, injured captain-coach Mick Sullivan said his team was far from their best in the “toing-and-froing” affair.
“We certainly weren’t at our best, but we were missing a couple of players,” he said.
“The job is always just to come here and get a win, which we did. It’s not an easy trip, and with the few weeks we have coming up it was good to get a win on the road.”
The lead changed several times throughout the game, and Sullivan said Lane almost did enough to orchestrate the upset of the season.
In a scrappy first half, both teams crossed the stripe twice before Lane’s field goal put the Tigers in front at half-time.
The green and golds scored the first three tries, all converted by five-eighth Ben McAlpine, in the second stanza, to lead 30-13.
With just under 20 minutes to go the Tigers crossed for their third major to reduce the deficit to 11, but CYMS’ defence held firm to secure the two competition points.
“We started the second half pretty quick,” Sullivan said.
“It was good to steady things a bit and score those few tries. We’re starting to get some fluency back, although after Oberon scored again I guess you could say both teams fell away. We’re not quite where we need to be just yet, but we’re getting there.”
ORANGE CYMS 30 (Dan Stuart 3, Semisi Katoa, Ryan Griffin, Scott Piper tries; Ben McAlpine 3 goals) def OBERON TIGERS 19.