Paterson River second-rower Jason Smith had a day out scoring a hat-trick of tries in the Rivers vital 24-18 win against Hinton on Saturday.
Smith and fullback Mathew Garland accounted for Paterson’s entire score with Garland crossing for a try and kicking four goals.
Garland’s kicking proved vital as Hinton scored four tries of their own through Andrew Hedges, Hayden Dimmock, Tyler Bradbery and Justin Field but only landed one of four conversion attempts.
Paterson River have established a three-point gap on the opposition with the victory.
The Rivers are sixth on the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League C-grade table and increasingly looking like securing a finals place with just seven rounds remaining in the regular season.
They have another crucial game this week when they travel to take on seventh placed Wallsend Maryland on Saturday at Grange Oval.
Kick off is 3pm.