The Eden and Bay Tigers stole the show at Group 16’s premier event last weekend.
The two men’s sides faced off in a Nines tournament repeat of the 2015 final where again Batemans Bay was able to secure the biscuits.
Despite the last-round loss, Eden was a standout team, while the league-tag Tigerettes just narrowly missed out on a finals berth on for and against.
“A shoulder injury to Eden captain-coach Jake Whitehead marred an otherwise successful day for the Tigers at the Moruya Nines,” club president Michael Gandon said.
“Whitehead had produced a great offload for Elvis Tui's try for Eden in the final against Batemans Bay before sustaining painful shoulder damage in a collision early in the second half.”
He hopes to be back playing in the early rounds of the regular season.
“Jake had led the Tigers superbly throughout the Nines carnival to top Pool A and reach the final against unbeaten Batemans Bay who topped pool B,” Gandon said.
The club posted seemingly the perfect mix of size and speed with an impressive and hard-hitting forward line, supported by some of the league’s best outside backs.
The kicking and passing game of half John Aldridge was exceptional, while young flanker Joel Grewar was a standout and was among the top try-scorers on the day.
The Bay’s Tristan Matthews scored the go-ahead try 48 seconds from full-time for an 8-4 win over the gallant Eden side.
Earlier the Tigers had gone down to the Bulldogs 20-10 in the opening round, but lifted to a different level in the next two rounds, scoring 22-4 and 20-0 wins against Moruya and Narooma respectively.
Brad Pocock notched up the team’s first try before Pambula struck to lead 20-4 at the break in the nine-a-side challenge.
Eden clawed back with a try to Toby Whitehead, regathering a kick from his brother and Aldridge adding the extras, but the nine-minute halves left the Tigers without time to chase the total.
“The Tigers then downed host Moruya 22-4, but to reach the final the Tigers had to beat Narooma by 15 points, which they did, running out winners 20-0 in an impressive display,” Gandon said.
The Tigerettes also showed a good brand of footy with some riveting runs up the fringes and strong defence through the middle.
The team lost-out on a finals chance after a 0-0 draw with Bega put the Chicks through on for and against.
Gandon commended the Moruya Sharks and said they did a fantastic job of hosting the day.
The Tigers’ first round match will see them away to the Moruya Sharks on April 2.
The club’s first home game will be against the Bega Roosters at the George Brown Memorial Oval on Sunday, April 9.