Eli Sinoti signs off with hat-trick for Avondale Wombats

Avondale's Matthew Taufa blasts ahead in his side's 65-7 win over the Vikings. Picture: GREG TOTMAN
Avondale's Matthew Taufa blasts ahead in his side's 65-7 win over the Vikings. Picture: GREG TOTMAN


Avondale slammed another exclamation point on their premiership aspirations with Saturday's crushing 65-7 victory over the Wollongong Vikings.

The Blueys were hoping to offer a much stiffer challenge to the unbeaten competition leaders, but they were never in the hunt.

Vikings have lost their past two games and dropped to fifth spot.

"The boys went out and played really well. Right from the start we were in control," Avondale coach James Patrick said.

"Vikings have a few people missing and it's always going to a hurt a club like that, but we were ready for them to throw everything at us. They were fighting for a top-four spot so we knew they'd give everything they've got.

"We got on top early and just stuck to the game plan.

"It's hard to stick to your game plan when you're always being tested. However, the boys have been really good at doing that over the last month or so."

Saturday's clash was a farewell of sorts for Wombats winger Eli Sinoti, who has playing commitments with the NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship.

"It was a special day for us because it was Eli Sinoti's last game with us," Patrick said.

"He was a happy man because he got himself a hat-trick and went out with a bang."

The Wombats have effectively clinched the minor premiership with three rounds remaining.

They are seemingly on a grand final collision course with second-placed University, but Patrick isn't looking too far ahead.

"The two teams have been the standout all year, but there's a few teams that could get a few players back, and every team that makes the top four is a chance because the game changes a bit in the finals," he said.

The mercy rule was applied to last-placed Bowral's game for the second time in as many weeks.

The Blacks were down 77-0 with 20 minutes remaining against University on Saturday when the referee signalled full-time.

The Woonona Shamrocks stayed in the finals race with a 24-3 defeat of Tech Waratahs.

Luke Tonegato starred with a hat-trick of tries.

Reigning premiers Camden jumped back into the top four with a 59-7 win over Shoalhaven.

NSW Country representative Gavin Holder scored three of their nine tries.

Ladder: Avondale 63; University 52; Kiama 45; Camden 42; Vikings 41; Shamrocks 38; Tech Waratahs 16; Shoalhaven 6; Bowral 3.


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