Sea Eagles book in high profile Bega showdown

Malcolm Green makes a break for the Tathra Sea Eagles in their 32-10 win over the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs on Sunday.
Malcolm Green makes a break for the Tathra Sea Eagles in their 32-10 win over the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs on Sunday.

League fans should get ready for a round one repeat with Tathra setting up a major semi-final showdown with the Bega Roosters.

The Sea Eagles took down Merimbula-Pambula at Tathra on Sunday 32-10 to book the face off with their cross-town rivals.

The first grade result capped off a day of bruising finals games where tempers had blown over frequently in the under 18s and reserves grade draws.

However, play was well composed in the first grade contest with both teams quietly tolling away between speedy bursts and bone crunching hit ups through the middle.

The Bulldogs looked dangerous early repeatedly faking right before sweeping left and building some solid early metres.

However, the visitors were without key strike player Luke Rixon, while half Corey Schafer was also absent through an ankle injury and the Sea Eagles' defence stood the test every run.

Reuben Smahel was a powerhouse through the middle for the Sea Eagles, making some strong runs and leading the defence, which helped the hosts get the early points on the board.

Josh Finucane proved elusive with some great stepping plays that linked up well with strong runs from Malcolm Green on the day.

Meanwhile Hayden Parbery was impactful with scoots out of dummy half and fullback Kyle Shepherdson regained plenty of ground with safe hands under the Merimbula-Pambula kicks.

Connor Carr found room on the left to score Tathra's first before speedy winger Ken Mitchell backed up soon after.

However, against a stiff cross-ground wind and shooting from the sideline, the conversion kicks were waived away on both attempts to lead 8-0.

Declan Bower-Scott continued to be a threat on the right edge, and halfway through the first hit the mark with a strong run up the right edge to lead 14-0.

The Bulldogs struck back through captain-coach Jake McDonald soon after with Jake Mikula adding the two, while the Sea Eagles were starting to hit their strides and capped off an 18-6 lead before the break with Adam Blacka running in a try on the left edge.

Rhys Schafer found the line for the Bulldogs just minutes into the second half giving the visitors a glimmer of hope, but it was the last points the Merimbula-Pambula club would find as Tathra got away with the result in the second half.

An early Blacka try set up a big lead before late tries to Josh Finucane and Robert Hogg sealed the result.

Tathra now face Bega in the major semi in Bega on Sunday, while the Bulldogs face Eden at Pambula.


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