Wyndham Peachey is loving life back at Macquarie and he was instrumental again on Sunday as the Raiders scored a tough Group 11 win over the Nyngan Tigers.
It wasn't always pretty and it was heated at times as Nyngan had Peni Botiki sin-binned and Ash Widders sent off during a fiery five-minute spell during the second half, but the win meant a lot to the Raiders as Sunday was the club's annual Perry Meredith memorial round match.
Captain-coach Alex Ronayne had spoken in the lead-up about the occasion giving the Raiders even more motivation as they push on for a top two finish and Peachey was key to getting the mission accomplished.
The five-eighth and son of Raiders great and former Cronulla legend David Peachey has slotted seamlessly into the side since arriving from Sydney mid-season.
He scored a double on Sunday while he also kicked three conversions and was involved in most of the home side's best moments.
"I'm still adapting but I'm loving it," he said of playing in the physical Group 11.
"It's a good bunch of blokes and tough footy. You've got to learn to duck, there's a lot of swinging arms, but it's good fun and I'm glad to be a part of this competition."
Wyndham's father is coaching the Raiders' under 18s this season and has played the odd game of reserve grade and having connections like that played a big part in the decision to return after starting the season with the Newtown Jets in the NSW Cup.
"It's what has made coming back so good," he said.
"Having the old man here and all the uncles and cousins here, it's unreal to be a part of the club and I'm glad to be here."
The five-eighth's fingerprints were all over Sunday's win at Apex Oval.
Both sides were poor to start the match with a number of handling errors and penalties the main feature of the first 10 minutes.
FT | Macquarie Raiders too good, running out 26-10 winners over the Nyngan Tigers in a sometimes heated match.— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) July 18, 2021
Despite the loss, Nyngan captain-coach and former Raider Jeremy Smith proud to be a part of the Perry Meredith memorial round match.#Group11pic.twitter.com/0ZTL1iR8Bo
On 12 minutes it was Peachey's pass to Sam Coe that allowed the fullback to slice through a gap and fly away to score the opener.
Seven minutes later the five-eighth stepped back against the angle while in attacking territory and a lovely short ball to a hard-running Richie Peckham helped the lead grow out to 10-0.
Peachey then scored on 33 minutes after he impressively caught a rebound after his initial kick hit an oncoming Nyngan player and went over untouched.
That made it 16-0 but right before the break the Tigers grabbed a much-needed try as prop Guy Thompson barged over after finding himself at dummyhalf close to the line.
The try gave the Tigers momentum and they carried that through to the second half and when Clynton Edwards dived over in the corner to make it 16-10.
But the turning point followed soon after as first Botiki was given 10 minutes after striking out a Raider off the ball before Widders' sin-binning was turned into a send-off after he swore following the initial decision less than two minutes later.
The Tigers were gallant while briefly down to 11 men but the extra work took a toll and Peachey stepped and jinked his way to a second before Coe ran away to score again in the final minutes following some brilliant hands and work from Tyler Bamblett and Filisione Pauta to put him in space in his own half.
"We really made it hard for ourselves but we dug deep and had to play smart footy. We're trying to get there but we hurt ourselves so we need to fix that up," Peachey said.
"We haven't connected yet and we're going to be scary when we do. That's for sure."
Nyngan captain-coach Jeremy Smith was obviously disappointed by the result and while the slow start put the Tigers under a lot of pressure the biggest problem was the side's ongoing issue with discipline.
"We crawled out way back into the game and we thought we were coming over the top of them and had them," Smith said, before speaking about penalties and send-offs.
"You've got to try and get them out as much as you can but it seems to be a pretty consistent part of our game.
"I think we've only had a few games this year where we haven't had someone sent off or given 10 minutes for doing the wrong thing and, like today, it was when we had the ball.
"If we get rid of that and use the ball a bit more, we're in the contest wherever we play."
The win keeps Macquarie in third, four points off CYMS and Wellington, while Nyngan sits in fifth and is currently three points behind Parkes heading into the final four rounds.
- MACQUARIE RAIDERS 26 (Wyndham Peachey 2, Sam Coe 2, Richie Peckham tries; Peachey 3 goals) defeated NYNGAN TIGERS 10 (Guy Thompson, Clynton Edwards tries; Sam Simmons goal)
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