The 2016 rugby league season is looking bright for the Cobar Roosters after they won the first game of the season up against the Newtown Wanderers on Sunday in the Barwon Darling League at Walgett.
Cobar kicked off into the wind and their defensive line put immediate pressure on the Wanderers’ bigger forwards and forced them to kick from within their 20m giving the Roosters good field position to start their first attacking raid. In the next set of six Isaac Kershaw went over near the posts to post first points for the Roosters.
Robert Childs added two points with his conversion and the Roosters took a 6-0 lead.
Cobar’s outside backs of Kershaw, Childs and Tristan Everett were making big gains around the ruck and allowed Ben Simon to charge under the posts for Cobar’s second try, carrying a number of defenders with him.
Childs’ conversion took the score to 12-0.
A handling error from the restart allowed the Wanderers to attack Cobar’s line and score their first points for a 12-6 lead to the Roosters.A penalty from Cobar’s ensuing kick-off gifted Newtown better field position.
Utilising the wind at their backs they started their attack only 10m from Cobar’s line.
The Wanderers’ bigger forwards bustled over for another converted try and the score was locked at 12-all.
The Roosters kick-off went out on the full which gave Newtown better field position and, following the wind, they scored another converted try to take an 18-12 lead.
A stern chat from experienced Roosters player Bobby Schofield behind the posts had the Cobar team pumped up and keen to make amends for their errors.
Cobar’s forwards Jarred Davey, Ethan Black and Rohan Lloyd led the Roosters fightback with tough defence allowing halves Jayden Martin and Kody Martin good field position.
They began pressuring the Wanderers’ outside backs’ defence and gave Schofield, Childs and Will Whitton opportunities to attack the try line. Matt Shepherd, with a scoot from dummy half, scored adjacent to the uprights for an easy conversion for Childs and the score was 18-all just before the halftime break.
Another try right on the halftime whistle in the corner by Kershaw, his second for the game, and Childs’ successful kick from the sideline had the Roosters up 24-18 at oranges.
Cobar had the advantage of the wind in the second half but it was the Wanderers who scored first after the restart to lock the scores up at 24-all. At this point Kody Martin, playing at No 7 in his debut First Grade game, started to make the game his own with great footwork beating several defenders to score a great individual try.
Childs once again had his kicking radar dialled in and added the extras for a 30-24 lead.
The Roosters’ defence really stepped up with Schofield, Simon and Scott Evans really slowing the bigger Wanderers forwards down in the ruck and, with the quick Roosters backs taking pressure off the forwards in attack with their runs from dummy half, they made big metres in attack.
It was then Childs’ turn to cross the try line for his own four pointer after a slick backline movement started off by Kody Martin and Jayden Martin. Childs easily converted from in front of the posts for the Roosters to skip out to a 36-24 lead.
The Wanderers hit back with their own unconverted try before Simon’s run up the middle allowed him to offload to Shepherd in support who raced 60 metres untouched to score.
Childs’ conversion gave the Roosters a 42-28 lead with time ticking down.
Cobar’s final try, scored by Lloyd, came on the back of a Kody Martin tackle on the Newtown fullback, which forced the ball out of his hands for Lloyd to pick it up and stroll over the line to score. Childs then kicked his 8th conversion from as many attempts.
A late consolation try to Newtown couldn’t dampen the Roosters’ spirits with Cobar claiming a 48-32 away win.—contributed