The Keech Australia-backed Bendigo Miners were thrashed by the unbeaten Shepparton Bulls in Saturday’s rugby union clash at Shepparton.
After holding the Bulls to a 14-point lead past the half-hour mark, the Miners game fell apart as the Bulls ran in nine tries and held the Miners scoreless.
While the Miners’ set piece held firm, their work at the breakdown was sloppy.
The Bulls committed more players and repeatedly forced turnovers.
Bendigo players started to fall off tackles as the classy Bulls team ran the ball powerfully and used the width of the field to stretch the Bendigo defence.
Linebreaks by Johneen Fagavao, Tom Murrell and Joseph Drahm were unrewarded.
On the brighter side for Bendigo were the performances of two rugby tyros.
Winger Brendan Rayson ran strongly, was solid under the high ball and made a couple of good tackles.
Loose forward Chris Slattery won some good ball in the lineouts and also tackled well.
Other Bendigo players to show out were Fagavao, five-eighth Siaosi Palelei and lock Josephar Maiai.
This Saturday, the Miners play their last home game of the home and away series when they face the Puckapunyal Boars at the Epsom Huntly Reserve.