Cobar Rugby Club’s Camels hosted third-placed Western Plains visitors Gulargambone at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval on Saturday afternoon to mark their Round 10 annual Ladies Day.
After a week of cold, wet and miserable weather, Saturday’s sunshine attracted an enthusiastic crowd of well-dressed ladies and keen rugby supporters.
It was a match described by Camels coach Damian Wray as a “two halves contest”, in which Gular led 24-5 at halftime and, despite a determined and vigorous second period fightback by the home side, the visitors held on to take match honours 36-24.
From the onset Gular dominated possession and territory and their enterprising backs posted three converted tries to lead 21-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Two of the early tries were scored after the ball was spread wide to winger Ryan Roach while centre Will Bowman added the third.
With the visitors overpowering the Camels at the line-out and breakdowns and increasing their lead with a penalty goal to 24-0, a weaving quick-stepping five-eight Tom Wall finally
split Gular’s tight defence and gained Cobar’s first points.
Following a half-time rev-up by their coach, the Camels began to mount sustained pressure both in the forwards and backs.
A dominant attack led by forwards Ryan Hammond, Sam Baker, Cliff Poland, Vella Heing, Jamie Peters and Natava Tagi resulted in playmaker Wall scoring his second try after receiving a clever pass from halfback Matt Armstrong.
But an intercept by Gular’s five-eight Curtis O’Connor and an overlap created by fullback Matt Foran increased the Gular Tri-colours’ lead to 36-12.
To their credit, the Camels replied with a hat trick to Wall (his second for the season) and a runaway try to centre Tommy Wihongi.
Although the Camels outscored the visitors three tries to two during a determined second half fightback, Gulargambone held on for a 36-24 win.
Best and fairest points for the Camels were awarded to Tom Wall (3), Brett Tristram (2), Ryan Hammond (1) and Sam Baker (1).
Wall was also named Player’s Player.—The Magpie