The Cobar Roosters Seniors travelled to Brewarrina on Saturday to face off against the Googars team who had yet to loose a match this season.
Cobar unfortunately wasn’t at full strength having lost some players to injury, including captain Tim Hillam, however the match finished at 24-all which coach Ben Trudgett said was a pretty good result.
The Googars posted first points after a set play from a scrum before Cobar got one back through Khaleb Whitehurst and, after Evan Rice’s conversion, Cobar was ahead 6-4.
Some good lead up work from Sam Baker, Ulrich Eins and Ethan Black allowed Sione Fakahua to carry defenders across the line for a try. Rice’s second conversion had the Roosters up 12-8 midway through the half.
The Roosters’ defence was holding out the larger Googars forwards with Tom McBride, Shane Suridge and Whitehurst strong in defence for Cobar. Brewarrina finished the first half with a couple of soft tries from dummy half to lead 18-12 at the break.
In his half time talk, Coach Trudgett spoke about cutting down on errors, keeping the ball in play to tire Brewarrina’s bigger forwards and control the ruck area to slow down the play the ball. After a good lead up from Ethan Black and Jed Noonan running the ball up early in the second half, Baker charged towards the line and left defenders in his wake to slam the ball down and close the gap to 18-16. Rice’s conversion was waved away.
The game was physical with both sides landing big hits and running the ball up with vigor.
A short side play from Brewarrina paid dividends and the subsequent converted try had them ahead 24-16.
The Roosters dug deep with Ben Simon taking the line on drawing players in before a quick play the ball was passed out to Jed Noonan who scored in the corner. Rice’s missed conversion had them trailing 20-24.
Cobar sensed a chance to snatch victory with hit-ups from Fakahua and Baker and elusive running from stand-in skipper David Watson, giving them good field position.
A quick hit-up sent the ball wide for Fakahua to crash over in the corner for his second try and lock the score up at 24 all.
Rice lined up his sideline conversion and, despite the heckling from the vocal Brewarrina crowd, he did strike the ball well but it went left of the posts and the teams shared the points on the day.—contributed