BUOYED by the presence of Blake Lazarus at fullback, a rejuvenated Calliope Roosters were too strong for Tannum Sands Seagulls on a bitterly cold Saturday night at Marley Brown Oval.
The Roosters were able to reshuffle their starting 13 in a move which enabled them to play with freedom and flair, as they outgunned the Seagulls 46-20.
With player-coach Luke Dyer shifting into the back row, as well as usual five-eighth Liam Campbell slotting into lock, Lazarus' broken-play talents at fullback and Isaac Gordon's pace in the centres allowed the Roosters to play a much more adventurous style.
Five-eighth Matt Kingy was a standout, willing to spread the ball early and put Gordon outside his man, while Lazarus chimed into the backline at will.
His elusive running game and pinpoint passing was backed up by a booming kick which enabled the Roosters to keep the pressure on the Seagulls in what was a fast-paced opening stanza.
Roosters' assistant coach Kevin Henderson was pleased with his side's tough style of footy, praising hooker Hayden Caughey's defensive workrate as well as the influence of Lazarus.
"Obviously we scored some really talented tries, but Tannum are a real big team and we stood up to them tonight and that's what impressed me," Henderson said.
"It was fantastic to have Blake (Lazarus) back tonight. His kick returns, and he can play as an extra pivot out the back... he just gives us another dimension."
Calliope 46 (Hallinan 2, Flores, Leilua, Kingy, Davey, Gordon, Wentzel tries; Collmour 7 goals) def Tannum 20 (Wise, Quelch, O'Reilly, Thompson tries; Wise 2 goals)
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