Clashes between Gundagai and Tumut are never for the faint of heart but it was the Tigers who had too much class to make it two wins from as many games to start the season.
There was little between the two sides in the first half, and it was just as tough to start the second half, before things started to turn Gundagai's way.
Tumut failed to take advantage of Chris Rainbow being sent to the sin bin early in the second half and once it was back to 13 on 13 Gundagai started to strike.
They crossed for three tries in the last 22 minutes to run out 20-0 winners at Twickenham on Sunday.
Stand-in captain James Luff admitted it was far from the side's best display, but keeping their arch rivals scoreless was definitely the highlight.
"We were well below our best, we had a 60 per cent completion in the first half, but I think we showed a lot of determination to have 12 fellas on the field and not let them score" Luff said.
"I think we can take a lot of courage out of that and while we were well below par it's only our second game and there's plenty to work on we got out of it unscathed."
Both teams went into the clash without their leader.
Zac Masters was always going to miss the match up after breaking his thumb last week while Luke Berkrey was ruled out with COVID on Saturday night.
Both sides had a couple of good chances early in the first half before Gundagai capitalised on a number of repeat sets close to their line when Latrell Siegwalt sliced through off a scrum to open the scoring after 16 minutes.
Tumut went within centimetres of hitting back three minutes later following a break from Brodie Mirtschin but Blake Maher couldn't quite get the ball down in time.
The Blues defence then did well to scramble enough to hold Corey Wilson up over the tryline as Gundagai went into the break leading 4-0.
Rainbow was given his marching orders after the Tigers conceded three straight penalties on their line five minutes into the second half and once more Maher couldn't quite put the ball down before going into touch.
Capitalising on a Tumut mistake, Nathan Rose put Gundagai further in front with 22 minutes to play and three minutes later Damian Willis added to it as he plucked an intercept and raced 70 metres to score.
A try to Jack Elphick ensured there would be no unlikely comeback from the Blues.
Heading into another bye this weekend, Luff expects Gundagai will continue to improve.
"Defensively I think we were pretty good and we were just tired," he said.
"We haven't had many games under our belts so we will get better and better throughout the season.
"While I'm happy to get the win, there's a lot of improvement to be done throughout the season.
"It's pretty pleasing to know we can still beat those quality sides and be well below par."
Things don't get any easier for the Blues who now have to travel to tackle a red hot Young outfit.
It was tough watching on the sidelines, however Masters thought it was a big improvement for their shocker against Brothers last week.
"It's very frustrating sitting on the sideline and it only makes me hungrier to get out there to make a bit of a difference," Masters said.
"There was certainly no lack of effort, I thought the effort was great from our boys and we've got a few key players out at the moment and the boys who are stepping in there are doing a great job learning on the run.
"We can only improve as a side from that."
While he was pleased with the effort, Masters couldn't help but rue a couple of missed opportunities after being held scoreless.
"There were probably three opportunities we didn't ice but if we did that then it is probably a completely different story," he said.
"The effort was really good so hopefully we can keep building on that."
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