The Cobar Camels gave the top of the table Warren Pumas a good run for their money on Saturday in Round 9 of the Western Plains Rugby Union competition with the final margin just 15 points in Warren’s favour.
Warren, who were comfortably sitting in second place on the competition ladder, were somewhat surprised at the strong resistance the Cobar team showed in their game at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval on Saturday afternoon.
After the match Camels Coach Len Baker said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I wasn’t sure how today’s game was going to go,” Baker told The Cobar Weekly.
“It could have gone either way and it could have been a cricket score.”
Baker said apart from a some dropped ball errors, and a lack of fitness in a few players, he said the only real thing his team lacked was cohesion.
“With work commitments it’s hard to get all of the players to training at the same time to work on our play,” Baker said.
“This team today, they just weren’t familiar with each other’s style of play but they all gave it a really good crack.”
The Pumas had plenty of talk and enthusiasm from the outset and it was clear they’d arrived to play.
The visitors had a glut of possession in the first half and made good use of it.
They ran in three tries to take a 17-0 lead before the Camels’ attacking raids finally paid off with a try to Sione Fukuhara which was converted by Cobar’s Man of the Match, Ryan Hall.
Hall played a big role in the Cobar side’s attacking raids in Saturday’s game.
He also had a high work rate in defence which earned him Best & Fairest three points along with the Players’ Player honour.
Jamie Peters’ was solid in defence for the Camels and his punishing tackles on numerous occasions not only stopped Pumas’ raids in their tracks but also served to spur on the Camels. Peters collected Best & Fairest two points and one point went to Fukuhara who had numerous strong runs for the Camels.
Shortly after half time, the Pumas scored a runaway try which pushed the margin out to
24-7 and it was then that the Camels lost their second player to a game-ending injury.
Cobar didn’t give in and continued to mount attacking raids on their line which eventually paid off when the ball was passed from one side of the field to the other to find a flying Stephen Nicholson out on the wing who crossed for Cobar’s second try.
Hall’s fantastic sideline conversion closed the margin to 24-14.
With just 10 minutes to play, a penalty on the line saw Warren cross soon after to push the margin out to 29-14.
The hard fought battle continued but neither side could improve on the score by the final whistle and Warren finished as 29-14 winners.