THERE was a lot to like about both Comboyne and Laurieton's performances at a wet Laurieton Oval on Saturday.
The Tigers grabbed the two points courtesy of a few moments of brilliance from fullback James Schumann, but the Stingrays shouldn't be disheartened.
Schumann scored the final try of the afternoon and had a hand in a number of others as the Tigers dug deep to outlast the hosts 26-16.
Comboyne are now two from two to start the season while Laurieton are none from two.
But the signs were there that with a few more training sessions under their belt, the Stingrays could surprise some people in the Hastings League in 2021.
Tigers captain Blake Wells admitted his side didn't have it all their own way, but it was pleasing they dug themselves out of trouble.
"We've got lots to work on still ... every one of us, but it gives us confidence because we're still a young side," he said.
"To get that win in conditions such as they were was very rewarding. The boys really dug deep in the second half."
Comboyne led 12-10 at halftime, but then would have been lucky get to their kick on more than two occasions in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
They were camped on their own line and only really had themselves to blame.
The Stingrays finally made them pay in the 47th minute when fullback Cooper Lewis Bain crossed out wide to put the hosts back in front.
They held the lead until the visitors scored three tries in the final 12 minutes of play with Tigers fullback Schumann playing an integral role in the passages of play.
"We knew how to do it, we were just fatigued early in the season and had the heavy ground because of how wet it was - we couldn't get ourselves motivated at stages," Wells said.
"To come down here to the Stingrays home ground and put it over them ... they've got good forwards and a talented backline so to come here and get the win was pleasing."
Stingrays captain Tamati Wigman admitted fatigue played a part in his side's demise as they struggled with injuries.
They had their opportunities, but a few handling errors when attacking the Comboyne line proved costly.
"There were a few simple errors and missed tackles that probably shouldn't have happened but we'll work on that," Wigman said.
"We've got heaps of improvement in us."
There was nothing wrong with the Stingrays' effort; they just lacked some composure when the match was on the line.
"The effort was there which is the main thing," Wigman said.
"We've got a lot to work with and it's not the result we wanted, but we've now got a couple of weeks to get some solid training sessions in."
After the Tigers put a half-century on defending premiers South West Rocks last week, there is plenty for the Stingrays to be positive about.
"It definitely gives us some confidence," Wigman said.
"We've got fitness to work on and we know that because we haven't had the best pre-season, but staying with them for that long was a positive."
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