A simply dominant 47-8 grand final triumph for the Blayney Rams was a perfect way to cap the club’s 60th anniversary celebrations on Saturday.
The Rams’ electric backline stunned the visiting Temora Tuskers in the GrainCorp Cup south decider at King George Oval, the hosts running in 21 points in as many minutes in the first half to set up the win.
Player-coach Baz Hobby grabbed two of those in a wonderful grand final outing for the veteran No.8, but it was the work of the likes of brother Cam Hobby, inside centre Mick Nixon and fullback Cameron Cole that proved decisive.
The trio cut the Tuskers mid-field to shreds in the opening half to give their side the upper hand.
Nixon’s try in the 11th minute made a mockery of the Temora defence, busting several would-be Tuskers tackles on a 30-metre charge to score a great grand final try.
Impressive young Tuskers flier Ben Cooper scored the opening try of the game – a runaway effort after a Rams mistake after three minutes – and then kicked a penalty goal mid-way through the first 40 minutes.
But that was the only time Temora troubled the scorers.
The margin was 21-8 at the break, before the Rams crossed through John Wills, Josh Kable, Brendan Newstead and Kyle Keen to secure an emphatic premiership win.
The 39-point mauling of the error-riddled Tuskers caps a stellar three-year period for the club in the Central West Rugby Union’s GrainCorp Cup south competition, with wins over Canowindra (2015) and Cootamundra (2016) preceding Saturday’s victory.
The fact the hat-trick was completed in the club’s 60th anniversary season made the celebrations something to savour – a party that kicked off when veteran hooker Sam Nixon nailed the final conversion of the match from the sideline.
“I don’t think so, I don’t think so. Not at all,” Hobby said when asked if it gets any better than a three-peat in an anniversary season.
“There’s a few of the older fellas who might have played their last game. Three in a row, the 60th year, it’s not a bad way to go out.
“The last three years have been a joy to be involved. Brock and I have coached all three. It’s been special to be part of.”
Temora qualified for the club’s first GrainCorp Cup decider after stunning last year’s runners-up Cootamundra 30-17 in the preliminary final a week ago.
Hobby said that result had his side on notice heading into another grand final.
“They had the momentum upsetting Coota last week so we had to fire up from the start and stop that,” he said his two tries instrumental in setting up the win.
“It was just on the back of good play … right spot at the right time, I suppose.”
He never expected to claim the trophy in such dominant fashion.
“No, definitely not … we were expecting a tough game,” he said.
“Our passes stuck.”
BLAYNEY RAMS 47 (Baz Hobby 2, Josh Kable, Kyle Keen, Brendan Newstead, John Wills, Michael Nixon tries; Cam Hobby 3, Josh Nixon 2, Sam Nixon conv) def TEMORA TUSKERS 8 (Ben Cooper try; Ben Cooper pen goal)