Dora Creek Swampies unbeaten after six rounds and riding high on A-Grade rugby league ladder

FINDING SPACE: Centre Justin Budahazy scored a try in the first half on Saturday, and was one of Dora Creek's best. Picture: David Stewart

FINDING SPACE: Centre Justin Budahazy scored a try in the first half on Saturday, and was one of Dora Creek's best. Picture: David Stewart

Dora Creek has jumped four points clear at the top of the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League A-Grade ladder.

The Swampies survived a second-half scare to score a 36-22 win over Belmont South at Neville Thompson Oval on Saturday.

The team remains unbeaten after six rounds.

Swampies' coach David Hoban said preparation for the game was influenced by his team's tough clash with Fingal Bay in Round 5.

"After a very physical win against Fingal Bay last week we had a very light training week to freshen our boys up. Some had a few niggling injuries and some bumps and bruises," he said.

The approach seemed to work as Dora Creek started strongly against Belmont South.

"Our first 30 minutes was very good. We raced out to a 24-nil lead with some exciting tries to fullback Israel Smith, and centres Justin Budahazy and Scott Fitzpatrick," Hoban said.

"Our completion rate was close to 90 per cent and we showed that when we complete our sets and work hard in our defence line we can play a great brand of football."

Belmont South scored two tries late in the half to make it 24-10 at halftime.

Hoban said his halftime talk focused on maintaining the team's high completion rate and positive approach.

The halftime break also helped the visitors to regroup.

"To Belmont's credit they took advantage of some great field position and possession to get the score back to 24-22 with 15 minutes remaining," Hoban said.

But ultimately it was Dora Creek's trump card that again proved the difference.

"Our defence has been our best quality for most of the season, and on Saturday it was again our defence that was excellent and we had to withstand a lot of sets from Belmont, but we held them out," the coach said.

"When we did manage to get the ball again in good areas we scored another three tries to seal the victory."

Hoban said Dora Creek back-rower Brendan Quigg was outstanding in both attack and defence.

"Justin Ferris, our front rower, had another strong performance along with Kye Howarth, and five-eighth Brad Clarke had his best game of the season for the Swampies."

Hoban said the club was rapt to be unbeaten after six rounds.

He said his players were working for their team-mates and were committed to improving aspects of their individual performances each week.

Dora Creek will travel to take on University of Newcastle this Saturday.

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