THE Hastings Valley Vikings put together a truly dominant forwards performance on Saturday to dismantle Kempsey Cannonballs 76-12 at Oxley Oval.
The defending premiers were simply too good for their opponents, with the big men dominating up front throughout the contest.
The plan was for the forwards to make the metres and allow the backs the flare to do well, but that didn't eventuate, such was the strength of David Tunstead and his colleagues in the engine room.
Tunstead scored two tries, as did Jeremy Segol and Tom Woods.
Vikings coach Andrew Kable said that was where the damage was done.
"We well and truly won it in the forwards," he said.
"We outclassed the opponents."
A red card to Glen Littler after a fracas somewhat soured the win. Littler reacted after Andrew West was struck in the head.
The Cannonballs had three in the sin bin at various stages of the match.
Kable was disappointed with Littler's sending, but defended his player.
"Whilst I don't condone it, I believe Glen was only acting in defence of his captain, who was elbowed in the head," Kable said.
The Vikings first graders have another week off before taking on Southern Cross University the following Saturday.
Kable lamented the breaks in the competition.
"It's been hard to get continuity," he said.
The reserve graders will play new side Woolgoolga.
n More rugby:?Friday's Port News