The new line up for the Cobar Camels team this season copped a drubbing at the hands of the experienced Coonamble team at Gulargambone on Saturday in their second hit out of the 2016 Western Plains Rugby season.
Before the game started there was a set back for the Camels with Bryan Strahl, their number 4 lock, dislocating his left shoulder during the warm up.
The game started off with high intensity and the young inexperienced Camels’ backline had a mammoth task waiting as their Coonamble opposition was full of seasoned players with speed.
The Camels however were not intimidated by the experience nor the size of their opponents.
Due to the disruption of the injury prior to the game there was a reshuffling of the forward pack, and this also created a line-out concern as Strahl was the main ‘go to’ man.
A lot of line-outs were lost in Saturday’s match as there was no other experienced line-out jumper in the Camels’ team.
The Camels defence patterns however were good during the whole game, but unfortunately due to missing first time tackles and then tackling the opposition around the shoulders they were easily handed off which created soft tries in favour of the opposition.
The Camels were behind 35-0 within the first 20 minutes of the game and at half time the score was 48-3.
There were serious talks during the half time break in the Camels’ dressing shed and after the re-start the team started to focus on the game.
The ball was well controlled and distributed that led to two tries for the Camels.
The Camels started to push the opposition off their own balls during rucks, mauls and scrums that created frustration.
The first time tackles improved with the Camels tackling low and they gave their opposition no room to move.
Strength and conditioning coach John Barnes said the final score of 59-17 was not a true reflection of the game with the Camels able to take more positives out of the game than negatives.
“The team stuck to the game plan and structure that was practised during the week.
“The defensive patterns were well executed and this created more errors from the opposition,” Barnes said.
He said the side had also started to gel as a unit.
“The fitness of the team was apparent in the second half as they outplayed the opposition with their endurance,” he said.
Barnes was also impressed with the team’s new debutant, with 17 year old Bryan Mitchell playing his first match at Coonamble.
“Overall the Camels played well and can hold their heads high,” Barnes said.
“With this attitude the team will be a force to reckon with in future games.”
The Camels are hoping for a better result this Saturday when they host Walgett at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval.
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