Orange Hawks claim frustrating Group 10 premier league win over Blayney Bears

Orange Hawks player-coach Willie Heta said he'll "take the two points" his side took away from the seventh round of the Group 10 premier league season against Blayney on Sunday afternoon, but he wasn't particularly pleased with the way his two blues picked them up.

In a stark contrast to their superb performance in the week prior's win over reigning champions Bathurst Panthers Hawks were, simply, pretty uninspired against the seemingly improved Bears, although they still did enough to win 34-22.

Although it wasn't a game that reached any great heights in general Hawks' ball handling in the opening 40 minutes was awful, at one stage half a dozen consecutive sets ended with a knock-on virtually on Blayney's line, and they only led 10-6 at the break as a result.

The hosts did improve in the second period after a whopping spray in the sheds during the break, and although they remained far from their best they still crossed for four tries to Blayney's three to secure the 12-point win, which keeps them in a share for the competition lead with Mudgee and Panthers.

I did think we were past that kind of performance but still lost our structure at times and there was patches where we just couldn't hold onto the ball at all and we kept them in the game with our mistakes.

Hawks player-coach Willie Heta

"Frustrating is definitely the word I'd use for that one," Heta said.

"I did think we were past that kind of performance but still lost our structure at times and there was patches where we just couldn't hold onto the ball at all and we kept them in the game with our mistakes.

"Look there probably is more to take from that game than if we came out and put on a massive score but in saying that it was very frustrating, especially to do that after a performance like last week's (against Panthers), but that may have taken its toll a bit too.

"We spoke about it all week though, you know, Blayney had nothing to lose so they were always going to come out and scrap, play at the ball and that sort of thing but at the end of the day we'll take the two points, we'll take it."

The floodgates looked like they might open after the break when Hawks went 90 in their first set and scored after a Blayney knock-on, but the Bears hit back again from a two blues' handling error.

The two blues did find some much-needed continuity and Heta scored as a result, before Prout cruised over from dummy-half for this second, Young's pair of goals pushing Hawks' lead to 28-10.

Hawks spilled it early in their next set, again, and Carter Hirini scored Blayney's third try from a nice Robert Lane offload 18 minutes out from full-time.

It must be said even with Blayney cutting the margin to 12 points the result never looked seriously in doubt, and any slim chance of a miraculous Bears' comeback was then put to bed by Talon Hodge's 71st minute try.

He was disallowed five minutes later as well, before Hirini scored on full-time.

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