After a great showing against Gulargambone last week, the Cobar Camels finished the 2017 Western Plains Rugby regular season on a low note with a 57-25 drubbing at Bourke on Friday night.
The squad of 22 players who’d indicated earlier in the week they would be available very quickly turned into just 16 late on Friday afternoon.
Sadly the majority of the six no-shows were the Camels planned backline which called for some quick and creative thinking.
The Cobar team, which included 13 forwards, ran out to play the Rams, who had recently welcomed back their local Rugby League players, and as expected the Camels were out-paced. The Rams passed the ball wide at every opportunity and had scored four tries by the time the Camels could get their hands on the ball.
Then the Cobar forwards did what they do best, they continuously rucked the ball and their pick and drive play thwarted the Rams’ defence on several occasions. After 18 phases from the halfway line to the try line, Sheldon Wilson pushed over for the Camels’ first points, and with no experienced kicker in the team, the conversion was waved away.
During the break Coach Wilson reminded his side about what it means to be a Camel, and why they were not going to let Bourke get an easy win.
The second half saw the Camels continue to outplay the Rams in the forwards, with a succession of multi-phase tries narrowing the gap on the score board.
Tries to the Camels’ Number 10 Drew Weaver, their captain Jake Harbison, Travis Schintler and dashing winger Robert Edge all showed the Camels were not defeated.
Bourke however had the luxury of a large bench, to match their large home crowd, and the intensity (and injuries) of the game finally caught up with the Camels.
Best on ground were James Egan, with Mark Aumua, Tommy Wihongi and Dayne Viant having massive games. The Players’ Player honour went to Drew Weaver.
While Season 2017 is over for the First Grade Camels, their Second Grade chances are still alive. This Saturday they will come up against the Nyngan Bogan Bulls in the minor semi final at Nyngan.
All supporters are welcome.—contributed