The annual Western Plains Rugby Elder Trophy match between the Cobar Camels and the Bogan Bulls at the Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval on Friday night was a thriller.
Cobar won the match 19-15 with the Camels thrilled to have been able to get their hands on the silverware after what’s been at least a five year drought.
The Nyngan squad had done a massive job on Brewarrina the week before in Round 2 of the Western Plains competition while the Camels were regrouping after their disappointing loss last Saturday in Coonamble.
Friday night’s game started at a fast pace, with Nyngan spreading the ball quickly at every opportunity, however the backline defence for the Camels was solid.
It wasn’t long into the game when some quick thinking from Joe Regan saw the ball spread quickly out to Zach Finn who crossed out wide for the Camels’ first try.
The conversion by Ryan Hall gave the Camels a 7–0 lead before the first 10 minutes was up. A serious injury to Camels’ prop Tristan Schneider held up play for a while, however when play resumed the Camels continued to attack the Nyngan defence.
Again, some quick thinking from a turnover saw Joe Regan cross midway through the half for Cobar’s second try, this time unconverted for the Camels to lead 12–0.
The half time break allowed the Camels to catch their breath after a hectic first 40 minutes. The Nyngan backs had struggled to control the ball when in possession and the dominant Camels’ scrum was taking its toll on the Nyngan forward pack.
Early in the second half the Bulls started to show signs of a resurgence however a loose pass that was intercepted by Zach Finn shut that down after he sprinted 75 metres to score under the posts. The conversion put the Camels 19-0 ahead with just over 25 minutes to play.
The Camels started to tire in the last 15 minutes and the Bulls took the opportunity with both hands. Three very quick unconverted tries brought the score back to 19-15 with only two minutes to play however a mistake by the Bulls off the final restart saw Cobar end the game as victors.
Stand-out players for the Camels included Taufoa Taufoa, Tony Jacklin, Loma Atuau, Dayne Viant and Jake Harbison who put their all into Friday’s game.
This Saturday the Camels host the Walgett Rams at home. The Rams are currently on a high after demolishing Brewarrina last Friday night and will be bringing their A Game to Cobar. It will be a big day of rugby with the Cobar club also hosting a junior development day on Saturday for players four years and up.