The Hay Magpies have broken a five-match losing streak by beating reigning Group 20 premiers Griffith Waratahs Tigers 30-24 at home in a fiery contest on Saturday night.
Both teams finished the game with less than their full complement of 13 after players weresent off and sin-binned for fighting.
Their actions are sure to come under scrutiny from the Group 20 judiciary, but the Magpies at least have two points to show for their bruises.
CentreVeni Lafaele was in damaging form forHay and helped boost his side to its first win since a 52-16 triumph over Leeton in round two.
Despite their poor run of form, the Magpies only find themselves a win outside the top fivehalfway through the season.
Opponents Waratahs have been as high as third, but back-to-back losses to West Wyalong and Hay hasdropped them to sixthon the ladder.
The Tigers were always going to be up against it on Saturday night after naming an understrength side.
Coach Kose Lelei, fullback Johnny Teleaga and giant prop Mike Ioapo –arguably Waratahs’ three best players –were unavailable after playingfor Riverina atthe Country Championships in Mudgee on the same day.
Tigers secretary Mark Jaffrey said the club found it hard to cover the loss of such quality players.
“We were missing a fair bit of strength,” he said. “In the end, wecouldn’t get over the line.”
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