ILLAWARRA COAL LEAGUE
A dazzling five-minute points blitz sparked Collegians to a 40-22 triumph over Dapto on Sunday at Collegians Sports Centre.
The winless Canaries stunned the reigning champions in the opening 15 minutes, racing to an unlikely 12-0 lead after two tries to prop Matt Handcock.
But the visitors turned over possession on the restarts of both tries, inviting Collies back into the game.
In the blink of an eye, they peeled off 20 unanswered points before Dapto stopped the rot with a converted try to trail 20-18 at half-time.
Collies didn't exactly go for the throat in the second half, but they were always in control, piling on another 20 points before the Canaries pinched a consolation try on the full-time siren.
"It was a game that didn't really reach too many great heights, and our effort and intensity was lacking," Collegians coach Reece Simmonds said.
"Our attitude was only half there. We were content to just do enough to win.
"In saying that, we still came up with eight tries, but to let in 22 points, obviously that's something we need to work on.
"Defence is an attitude thing, and today we were a little off the pace in most aspects, and that can be attributed to our attitude. I don't know why it was a bit off, but in the end we were good enough to come away with the win.
"Down 12-0 early on, I was a little worried, but our guys stayed strong and turned it around. There was too much class in the end."
The Canaries played well in spurts but let themselves down with handling errors and defensive lapses.
"It's been the story of our season - instead of completing the next set after scoring, we coughed the ball up and let them back in the game straight away," Dapto coach Chris Leikvoll said.
"We're giving ourselves too much to do and we're failing to build pressure, and until we start building pressure we're not going to win a game.
"The boys are training hard and working hard, it's just when we get out there we can't get the job done. We were in prime position there at 12-0 and we shouldn't be getting beat with that lead.
"At the moment we're just not good enough. We talk about the 1 per cent things and at the moment we're not doing them anywhere near good enough. It's tough, but we just have to find a way to win."
Thirroul grabbed the outright lead in the battle for the minor premiership with Saturday's 18-10 away win over Corrimal.
Wests moved into second with a 30-14 home win over Helensburgh. The Tigers slipped from first to third.