Dora Creek down Dudley 36-10 to secure Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League's A-Grade minor premiership with one round to play

TACKLE BUSTER: Man of the Match, centre Todd Murphy, scored a hat-trick for Dora Creek and proved a handful for the Dudley defence on most of his carries on Saturday. Picture: David Stewart

TACKLE BUSTER: Man of the Match, centre Todd Murphy, scored a hat-trick for Dora Creek and proved a handful for the Dudley defence on most of his carries on Saturday. Picture: David Stewart

DORA Creek Swampies secured the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League's A-Grade minor premiership with a 36-10 over semi-final hopefuls Dudley on Saturday.

Dora Creek led 16-10 at the break, but the scoreline flattered Dudley who ran in a 90-metre intercept try just before halftime.

The Swampies exerted their dominance in the second stanza, running in some entertaining tries while keeping the home team scoreless.

Dora Creek hadn't played since July 20 - courtesy of a bye and a forfeit by Woodberry - and that outing was the team's only stumble of the season: a 26-24 loss to Belmont Souths.

So coach David Hoban emphasised the need for his team to get back to the fundamentals on Saturday.

"Our training and preparation since the loss to Belmont has been really positive," Hoban said.

"We've had a lot of focus on getting back to basics and concentrating on our structure in both attack and defence. In cold and windy conditions, we started off well and just ensured we stripped everything back and played really simple football."

A nice pass from halfback Boston Smith saw back-rower Kye Howarth cross for Dora Creek to lead 6-nil.

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Back-rower Brendan Quigg then created a try for winger Tom Patullo, and Dora Creek led 10-nil.

Dudley scored a try when they forced an error from Dora Creek off a kick, but a try to Diamond Charlie restored a 10-point advantage for the visitors.

"Just before halftime we got a penalty in front of the posts and decided to run the ball instead of taking the two points and Dudley took an intercept and ran 90 metres to score in the corner to take us to the break leading 16-10 at halftime," Hoban said.

A plan to target Dudley's edge defenders in the second stanza worked a treat.

"The boys executed the game plan perfectly and straight after half time we shifted the ball to Kye Howarth who busted them open and passed to winger Mitch Morley who raced 50 metres to score in the corner for us to lead 20-10," the coach said.

"We then scored another try off a piece of individual brilliance by centre Todd Murphy to race out to a 26-10 lead.

"Todd caused havoc all day for the Dudley defence and scored another two tries from individual strength and speed to close the game out for us."

He was a worthy Man of the Match.

"Everything we have trained for as a team we executed really well and the boys should be pretty happy with that effort," Hoban said.

Howarth was impressive, and halves Boston Smith and Brad Clarke "controlled the team beautifully" he said.

Dora Creek will host fifth-placed Waratah Mayfield in the last game of the regular season this Saturday, at Neville Thompson Oval, at 3pm.

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