Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union: Lake Macquarie Roos thrashed 121-3 by Nelson Bay Gropers | photos

It was a day Lake Macquarie would rather forget.

The Roos will now search for answers after leaving Bill Strong Oval with their tails well and truly between their legs on Saturday, absolutely blown away 121-3 by Nelson Bay in what could be a record losing margin for the Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union premier one competition. 

The visitors conceded 19 tries, but the scoreline could have been even worse with six conversions missed during the second-round encounter. 

Fly-half Brendan Holliday ensured the Roos at least opened their account with a lone penalty goal.

“It was a tough day,” Lake Macquarie president Matt Bartley, who played hooker in the match, said.

“They were sensational and we were terrible.

“We had a few blokes that got stuck at work so we were bit light on troops in first grade and then we had a few injuries pretty early on.

“But they were amazing. We only had the ball once in the first half. We just couldn’t get the ball off them. Other than that, every time they got the ball it was try time.

“Hopefully, we put that game behind us and move on. It can only get better.”

Bartley said three reserve-grade players backed up to start in the main XV while overall registration numbers at the club are down almost 50 percent from last season.

On the other hand runaway Nelson Bay sit on top of the table with back-to-back bonus point wins.

Half-a-dozen Gropers crossed for multiple tries with winger Emerson Burgess bagging five.  

Elsewhere on Saturday and it was a much tighter tussle at Townson Oval with unbeaten Merewether Carlton prevailing 20-19 over three-time reigning champions Hamilton. 

Out at Marcellin Park and two late Carl Manu tries combined with a strong defensive effort delivered the undefeated Maitland Blacks a 10-9 victory over winless 2017 grand finalists Wanderers.

“That was unreal, the ticker we showed was incredible. To win like that in a milestone game was incredible,” Blacks stand-in captain James Johnston said in his 100th first-grade game.

CRUNCH TIME: Hamilton prop Geraint Weaver runs into heavy traffic in Saturday's clash with Merewether Carlton at Townson Oval, which the Greens won 20-19. Picture: Simone De Peak

CRUNCH TIME: Hamilton prop Geraint Weaver runs into heavy traffic in Saturday's clash with Merewether Carlton at Townson Oval, which the Greens won 20-19. Picture: Simone De Peak

Southern Beaches proved too strong for hosts Singleton with winger Peter Madden crossing for a double in the 44-28 triumph.  

University had the bye.

AAP reports: NSW Waratahs believe they are building nicely for another Super Rugby title tilt after a 36-17 bonus-point triumph over the Queensland Reds at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night. Meanwhile, star halfback Will Genia injured his hamstring in Melbourne Rebels' 25-22 loss to the Jaguares at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon. ACT Brumbies were thrashed 43-17 by the Highlanders in Otago.

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