The Waratah Tigers have taken sole possession of top spot after a strong second-half performance led them to a 50-22 win against Yanco-Wamoon at Exies Oval.
The home side was able to take an early lead when Jonathon Sila was able to crash over in the corner in their first set. Waratahs extended their lead with coach Kose Lelei able to break through the line before sending Ben Vearing off with a pass to score under the post.
The Hawks were able to get on the board when back-to-back penalties gave the visitors field position, and co-coach Troy Preston found his way over before the Hawks pulled level with Soqoni Saurara making a strong break down the wing before passing off to Jone Tabaiwalu who scored to make it 12-all.
The Waratahs were able to retake the lead as the sides headed into the break with Vearing scoring his second after a cutout pass put him into a hole in the Hawks defence while Graham Levu was able to use his strength to push through three tackles to give the defending premiers a 22-12 lead.
Lelei knew where his side needed to improve if they were going to hang onto the lead in the second half.
"We just needed to be patient," he said.
"We knew we could score tries from anywhere we just needed to be patient with the ball. There were a few times in the first half where we made breaks, but we were pushing the passes.
"I thought we were much better in the second half we were able to make breaks take the tackle and score off the next play."
The sides traded tries in the early stages of the first half with Tom Sellars getting across for the Waratahs while after a crossfield kick from Daniel Johnson, Saurara was able to score for the Hawks.
The home side was able to extend their lead out to 20 points with Sila crossing for his second of the match while Malie Ngu followed it up with a try of his own to make it 38-18.
Codey Parsons got across for the Hawks with 12 minutes left to give the visitors a slim chance of making a comeback, but that was ended when Sila scored his third of the afternoon before Pili Maiava wrapped up the 28-point win.
The Waratahs will welcome TLU next weekend while the Hawks will head out to Darlington Point to take on Roosters.
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