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NHRU rugby union: Lake Macquarie bounce back from landslide defeat

LAKE Macquarie coach Gareth Polamo believes Saturday’s 44-15 loss to University at No.2 Sportsground is evidence that his side will be competitive for the rest of the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union season.
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THE GAME THEY PLAY IN HEAVEN: A panoramic view of the clash between Hamilton and Maitland at Passmore Oval. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The Roos’ viability came under scrutiny after they suffered a 121-12 hammering from Nelson Bay in their previous game, which followed a 61-17 thrashing by Singleton in the season-opener.

But after a week of soul searching, they responded by leading the Students 15-12 at half-time, after tries by prop John Taufaao and flanker Chris Hunt. Uni gained the ascendancy in the second half but Polamo said his players had nonetheless taken a step in the right direction.

“I was really pleased with how we went,” Polamo said.

“To be honest, I was never really worried about the score [against Nelson Bay]. It was more about improving on last week.

“As a group we identified areas that we needed to improve, and obviously defence was a major one, and little things like communication and getting some shape around our attack.

“It’s the small things that go a long way towards improving.”

Polamo had no doubt his team will be competitive this season, boldly declaring: “The way the competition is, I believe we can still make the top five.

“It’s one week at a time for us, but I’m quietly confident. Now we’ve got the bye and a couple of weeks off, which is probably good timing for us, and then we’ll get ready to play Southern Beaches.”

The NHRU have indicated they are reviewing the Roos’ position in Premier Rugby, citing safety concerns, and the subject is likely to be discussed at a board meeting this week.

“I would have thought if there was going to be some sort of review, it would be at the end of the season,” Polamo said. “I’m confident there are absolutely no issues with regards to safety. And we’re still out there trying to get a few new players.”

In the other game of Saturday’s double-header at No.2, Wanderers downed Singleton in a thriller, 33-27.

At Passmore Oval, premiers Hamilton beat Maitland 44-19, while at Gateshead, Nelson Bay retained the competition lead with a 20-17 win against Southern Beaches.

AAP reports:Early-season good vibes about ‘s Super Rugby teams are diminishing after all four teams lost to overseas opposition in the latest round.

The Waratahs held on to the n conference lead despite a 29-0 home defeat by the Lions.

The Reds lost a fourth-straight game and early-season conference pacesetters the Rebels suffered a third consecutive defeat. Their 28-10 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria was compounded by injuries to captain and lock Adam Coleman, brothers Dane and Ross Haylett-Petty and hooker Jordan Uelese.

Queensland were also blown away early in their 36-12 loss to New Zealand’s Chiefs in Brisbane.

The clean sweep of n defeats was completed on Sunday when the Jaguares beat the Brumbies 25-20 in Canberra.

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