Minor premiership firmly in Roosters’ sights

The Coonamble Bears could do little to contain Cobar Roosters Hooker Jarrod Whitty in Saturday’s Castlereagh Rugby League First Grade game with Whitty scoring four tries in the Roosters 44-20 win. This photo was taken just as Whitty scored his third try.

Jarrod Whitty’s four-try haul helped the Cobar Roosters First Grade team to a convincing 44-20 win over Coonamble on Saturday with the win also further enhancing Cobar’s chances of claiming the minor premiership.

Cobar hosted the Bears for the second last round of the Christie and Hood Castlereagh Rugby League competition in front of a big crowd at Tom Knight Memorial Oval.

Witty added 16 more points to his already impressive tally for the season and he also made the target put on his back this season by all of the Castlereagh opposing teams, considerably bigger.

The Bears knew they needed to contain Whitty if they were to beat the Cobar side in Saturday’s Round 9 game however they were in no way ready for his lightning pace from dummy half.

The game had barely got underway and Whitty had crossed for Cobar’s first points within the first minute and a half of play.

Soon after Whitty hit the same spot with his second try and Jimmy Neyland’s successful conversion had Cobar ahead 10-0.

It wasn’t until midway through the first half before the Bears crossed for their first converted try.

Then Whitty’s third try, also converted by Neyland, extended Cobar’s lead to 16-6.

A try out wide for the Bears just before half time kept them in touch with the score 16-10 in the Roosters’ favour at half time.

The Roosters started the second half in the same vein as the first with Loma Atuau scooting over to score next to the posts soon after the re-start.

After the Roosters conceded a penalty and missed a vital tackle, the Bears made the most of the opportunity to record back-to-back tries and they had levelled the score to 20-all by three-quarter time.

The Cobar crowd of supporters then became more vocal with the cries of “Roosters, Roosters, Roosters” spurring on the home side.

The Cobar defence turned the pressure up another notch and pummeled the Bears ball carriers at every opportunity.

A charge-down of a Bears’ kick in play by Roosters punishing forward, Ethan Black, who regathered and headed to the try line, had the crowd on their feet and cheering.

Black was brought down 20 metres out from the try line but quick play from Second Rower, Jack Govett, resulted in his sensational try to finish off what Black had started.

A probing 40 metres run soon after by the Bears’ fullback had the Coonamble supporters up out of their seats however the Roosters cover defence pulled him down.

Coonamble continued to attack in the hopes of playing themselves back into the game but  the Roosters’ defence held fast and they continued to repel.

Cobar’s Fullback Tim Hillam had a couple of good runs up the middle to give the Roosters good field position, which Centre Tristan Everett further improved on, before Govett crashed over for his second try.

To the delight of the crowd, big Prop Jed Noonan had a breakaway run up field and the Roosters were once again hitting their try line.

Once again Whitty appeared out of nowhere to run from dummy half and score his fourth try (untouched). Atuau’s successful conversion put the Roosters ahead 36-20.

The Bears were tiring and the Roosters just kept on relentlessly attacking.

With just seven minutes left to play, Everett crossed for an effortless try and shortly after Tai Bowker scored out wide on the opposite wing for the Roosters to finish with a convincing 44-20 win.

In another Castlereagh First Grade thriller of a game on Saturday, Gilgandra beat Dunedoo 23-22 to firm up their minor premiership standings.

Currently Cobar and Gilgandra share the top spot (with Cobar having a better for and against record) but Cobar needs to beat Dunedoo this Saturday to claim the minor premiership title and the right to host the grand final.