The Cobar Camels could not be faulted on their enthusiasm, tenacity and effort in their Round 10 Western Plains Rugby match against Coonamble on Saturday at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval.
The Camels however did have a lot of problems with cohesion in defence which the Coonamble visitors took advantage of to post a big 69-7 points win.
The Camels once again fielded a totally different team for Saturday’s game than in previous their matches this season.
With a side made up of a few of their core players, some regular fill-ins and a couple of debutantes, it made it hard for player/coach Stephen Gillette to get his team to work to an effective game plan.
Coonamble were also in sensational form on Saturday and displayed plenty of honed rugby skills in attack.
The Rams constantly picked the gaps in Cobar’s defence and capitalised to score multiple times on both wings and also through the centre field.
With lots of options in support play, Coonamble had, by half time, run in seven tries to have a commanding 45-0 lead at the break.
Positives for the Camels were that they made a much better start to the second half which saw them slow up Coonamble’s scoring rate.
The Cobar team’s scrummaging and set piece play were also good in Saturday’s game and the Camels dominated the line-out contests throughout the match.
The Camels also posted points in the second half with an opportunist try to flanker Sam Oliver who scooped up a loose ball on the blind side and raced away to score untouched under the posts which made for an easy conversion for Tom McKenna.
Oliver was one of Cobar’s standout players in Saturday’s game along with veterans, Jake Harbison who was staunch in defence and Slade Neale who was in everything and directed the Camels throughout the match.
The pair earned a Best and Fairest point each.
Other players to spark excitement in the Camels side were Tom Best, who was strong in attack and defence, to earn his side’s three Best and Fairest points.
The Camels young pacey winger Wiaan Oosthuizen also looked dangerous on a number of occasions he was able to run with the ball, however with the Rams having the glut of possession throughout the match, Oosthuizen’s opportunities were very limited.
Tony Jacklin, who had a high work rate in Saturday’s game, picked up Best and Fairest two points.