THE Dunsborough Dungbeetles maintained their unbeaten record in the South West Rugby Union with a victory away to the Bunbury Bulls on Saturday.
Bunbury were confident off the back of a last second 29-27 nailbiter over Margaret River last week and had a good squad for the outing.
The Dungbeetles welcomed back the fly-in, fly-out centres of Green and Brierty plus prop Pete Van Rooyen from injury.
Unfortunately the Bulls decision to go to uncontested scrums dulled the edge at the fixed piece, but the Dunsborough side made strong ground through quick ball from turnovers at the breakdown to threaten the Bunbury line.
The Bulls were strong at the early exchanges but when breached leaked tries to the relentless Dungbeetles attack led by Hunting and Tactical best back Manu Mason.
Lock Matt Jones finished off the first move to score and James Washbourne added the conversion after seven minutes.
When Washbourne capitalised from an intercept in the Bulls attacking 22, it was 12-0 after 15 minutes.
Unfortunately he was unable to steer the conversion through, nor add the extras when Busselton McDonald’s best player Tom Holland scored in the corner five minutes later.
Rather than break the Bulls spirit, they rallied and ran strong lines, which tested the resolve of the Dunsborough defence. At halftime the visitors held a 17-0 lead.
The second half saw the Dungbeetles frustrated at the breakdown by players driving through and penalised for indescretions in retaliation.
A solution was found in using the pick-and-drive, led by Dunsborough Tavern best forward Pete Van Rooyen, which saw James Washbourne score his second try 10 minutes into the half.
Again, he narrowly missed the conversion and it was 22-0 to Dunsborough with a bonus-point victory all but in the bag.
A quick turnover ball out to the wing and a strong run by Holland put Mitch Brierty in from the next phase and Wayne Green converted to extend the lead to 29-0 on the hour.
The Dungbeetles didn’t rest there and with a minute to go Dwayne Palmer crashed over near the posts and Gareth Richards coolly slotted the extra points to lead 36-0 with seconds remaining.
When the ball went dead from the restart near the Dungbeetle line, play continued until a penalty five metres out to the Bulls saw them dive over for a consolation try that was converted.
The game ended at 36-7 and an emphatic victory over their probable grand final opponents in two week’s time.
Before that, the Dungbeetles host the Gropers on Saturday with their opponents still a slim hope of making the final.
The game kicks off at the Dunsborough Playing Fields at the earlier time of 1.30pm with the Super 15 final to be viewed afterwards.