Roosters really took it to the Tigers

Jarrod Whitty, a new recruit for the Cobar First Grade team this season, was a standout in Cobar’s trial game against Nyngan on Saturday night at Tom Knight Memorial Oval. The Cobar Roosters Rugby League Club hosted their old Group 11 rivals, the Nyngan Tigers, in three trial games on Saturday night at Tom Knight Memorial Oval in front of a big, vocal crowd.
Nyngan finished the day with three narrow wins: 36-34 in First Grade; they won 12-8 in Ladies League Tag and 30-24 in Under 18s.
The trial games gave the Cobar coaches an opportunity to see how their new recruits would gel with returning players prior to their first hit outs in the Castlereagh competition this season.
Jake Francisco, who’s joined Jimmy Neyland to co-coach First Grade this season, said most of the players were “blowing out the cobwebs” in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
“The continuity was a bit mismatched over the four quarters but the effort was there,” Francisco said after the game.
“We came home hard and the fitness was good which was something that we’ve tried to work  on from the start of the year.
“It’s good to see Cobar with a strong squad for 2020,” Francisco said.
In Saturday’s First Grade game, the Nyngan visitors took an early 8-0 lead, before Neyland strolled over under the posts to score to get the Roosters into the match.
The Tigers led 12-6 at the first break; were  ahead 28-10 at half time and were also in front 34-20 at three-quarter time.
Tries by Ngamanu Winitana in the second phase and Tyson Brilley and Ben Simon in the third quarter, kept the Roosters in the hunt but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter where the Roosters really fired up and their superior fitness became most obvious.
The Roosters played with great intensity and were fully committed in defence and clawed back the deficit with brilliant tries to new recruit Jarrod Whitty and Jed Noonan.
With six minutes left in the match Whitty had another sensational run which resulted in a converted try to Tim Hillam to level the score at 34-all which thrilled the big crowd.
Defence was then key for both teams and neither side could break the deadlock until 90 seconds before full time when a successful kick at goal by Nyngan (after a Cobar infringement) gave the visitors the thrilling 36-34 win.
The Roosters Under 18s also played catch-up footy in their game against the young Tigers after they were down 24-12 at half time in their nine-a-side match on Saturday.
Lochie Ford and Jacob Christie put first half points on the board for Cobar with a try each.
Christie then backed up to score another second half try along with Ted Smith.
Ford’s four successful conversions helped to level the scores at 24-all before a late converted try gave Nyngan the 30-24 win.