Camden Haven Eagles kept in touch with Taree Panthers at the top of the Group 3 junior rugby league under-13 competition with a comfortable 20-4 win over Lake Cathie Raiders on Saturday.
The Eagles have now won six-straight matches to start the season, are one of only two undefeated teams in the competition and have a game in hand.
Front-rower Frank Hedley-Perry returned from representative duties with Group 3 and crossed for two tries in the 16-point win while fellow front-rower Deion Cafe and second-rower Robbie O'Brien also scored four-pointers.
Coach Glenn Knight said it was pleasing to see the hard work the team had put in over the years start to reap the rewards.
"Three years ago this team was going through the season barely winning a game, but they've all stuck with it and gotten better as time's gone by and now they're starting to get the results," he said.
"It's rewarding for everyone involved."
The majority of the Eagles playing squad have progressed together through the grades and last year showed glimpses of what they were capable of.
When the pandemic shut down community sport towards the end of the season, they were well in with a shot of going deep into the competition.
"We've got some good players and they've been together a good while now and it's all gelling for them," Knight said.
Four of the players have recently returned from representative duties with Aiden Hardy joining Hedley-Perry on the Group 3 stage while Nash Knight and Zeke Fahina competed against the best kids in year six at primary school level.
"Having four of the players recently completing rep stuff is another thing that's helped these boys," Knight said.
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