CHRIS Vidler inspired Quirindi to a big win over Manilla at home on Saturday, with the Grasshoppers blowing away the ladder leaders in the opening stanza of both halves for their best win of the Group 4 Second Division Plate season.
Nanjing Night Net

Manilla’s Mitch Doring (left) and Neil Bonnett meet Quirindi’s Darren Nean on the line as the Grasshoppers pulled off a big win over the tabletopping Tigers on Saturday at home.Photo: Chris Bath 180616CBA11

The Hoppers flew out of the blocks and raced in three early tries for an 18-point lead early, although fell off the mark to let Manilla back in the game, going into the sheds up by just two points at 20-18.

Whatever the captain- coach said to the boys in the sheds at halftime worked, the home side controlling the ball and running riot through the Tigers defence to score six unanswered tries in the opening 25 minutes.

Shane Allan, Bruce Murray, Vidler, Justin Nean and Darren Nean all crossed as Manilla had no answers to stop the big men in the middle going forward before the Hoppers exposed them on the edges for points.

With eight minutes to go, Harlee Millgate finally hit back but it was all too late, as Andrew Cohen drove the final nail in to run out winners 58-24.

Co-coach, treasurer, strapper and runner Ben Allan said the result was a reflection of the hard yards the side had been putting in at training recently.

“We have got a good team together and they are training hard and putting it on the field,” Allan said.

“We held the ball and controlled the game.”

The Grasshoppers knew they couldn’t let the dangerous Tigers get out to a lead and were concentrating on starting both halves well and, with the visitors a few key players short, the Grasshoppers took full advantage in the first half before showing their fitness and composure to finish the job in the back end.

Evergreen lock and former Group 21 player of the year Chris Allan did a mountain of work and had plenty of ball, while bustling centre Bruce Murray constantly punched holes in the defence, although it was the captain-coach who did the most damage.

Last year’s Group 4 player of the year proved more than a handful for the Tigers defence, even having a stint in the centres late and showing a full skill set to put up a well-placed bomb in the second half.

“We have got a good mix of youth and experience and players like Vids (Vidler) and Chris Allen lead the way for the young blokes,” Allan said.

“That was a full effort today – everyone put in 100percent.”

“We can’t wait for a re-match against Walcha – they are the benchmark and we won the second half last time we played but let them get out to a lead.

“We have got to play Bingara first though and that should be a good, hard match.”

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