Rugby League’s ‘Battle of the Birds’ lived up to its hype

Cobar Roosters’ second-rower Ben Simon crossing for the first of his three tries scored in Saturday’s Castlereagh competition win over Trangie at Tom Knight Memorial Oval.

The Cobar Roosters’ Round 4 Castlereagh Rugby League competition game against the Trangie Magpies on Saturday at Tom Knight Memorial Oval was being promoted as the ‘Battle of the Birds’.

And what a battle it was with the lead changing five times in the high scoring game which Cobar eventually won 44-34.

The Roosters scored first points through an early try to fullback Tim Hillam but from then on it was continuous one-way traffic to the Magpies’ try line with Trangie scoring four unanswered tries through Adam Pasco, Paul Widders (2) and Gordon Sutherland, to take command of the game.

When Roosters’ big second rower Ben Simon crashed over just five minutes before half time for the first of his three tries in the match, it signalled a brilliant fightback for the Roosters.

Captain/coach David Watson closed the margin to just four points with his try right on half time with the Roosters trailing 18-22 at the break.

James Neyland sparked the Roosters attack in the second half and his try and a sensational sideline conversion from Evan Rice put the Roosters ahead, 24-22.

An 80m sprint by Brayden Carney, which resulted in a try and the successful conversion by Carl Moss (who had a great day with the boot only missing one of his five attempts) put the Magpies back in front, 28-24.

Simon’s second half double scored in quick succession gave Cobar back the upper hand and then when Tristan Everett and Jesse Hamilton also crossed, the game looked to be all sown up at 44-28.

Trangie however continued to fight on and a late consolation try to Tyronne Weldon and conversion by Jack Powell brought the final margin back to 10 points, with Cobar winning 44-34.