HAMILTON have jumped inside the Hunter Rugby Union top four after rallying to beat the Bulls in a dramatic encounter at Singleton on Saturday.
The Hawks defeated the hosts 35-24 despite relinquishing a 10-point advantage at half-time and now move ahead of both Southern Beaches and Nelson Bay on a congested ladder.
Hamilton were up 17-7 at the break but Singleton ran in three quick tries to take the lead before the Hawks wrestled back control.
A combined seven players were shown yellow cards, including a brief period when the Bulls were reduced to 11 men.
IN THE NEWS:
"It's not all happening 100 percent for us but after three losses [in-a-row] it's about taking small steps," Hamilton coach Marty Berry said.
"There was a bit of resistance there when we were under the pump and we hung in there."
Southern Beaches and Nelson Bay were beaten by top-two outfits, leaving them narrowly outside the final spots after the opening eight rounds.
Hayden Cole was the standout for second-placed Wanderers, scoring three tries from fullback as the Two Blues accounted for Southern Beaches 43-19 at Ernie Calland Field.
Competition leaders Merewether maintained their perfect record so far this year with a comprehensive 55-7 triumph over Nelson Bay at Bill Strong Oval.
University lost to Maitland 29-17 at Marcellin Park. Lake Macquarie had the bye.
LADDER: Merewether 34, Wanderers 26, Maitland 24, Hamilton 23, Southern Beaches 21, Nelson Bay 20, Singleton 14, University 5, Lake Macquarie 0.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: