There’s absolutely no doubt the Cobar Roosters are a very competitive side and this season they’ve proved they can more than match it with the big guns in their new Castlereagh Rugby League competition.
It’s winning games that is however still proving to be elusive with the Cobar First Graders once again narrowly beaten 30-24 by the Gilgandra visitors on Saturday at Tom Knight Memorial Oval.
(They had a 30-all draw last week with Trangie and lost to Coonamble the week prior by just two points.)
The Roosters matched the defending premiers, the Gilgandra Panthers, in skills, intensity and muscle in Saturday’s game and, for the first 15 minutes, the game was scoreless as both sides fought hard in attack and even harder in defence.
The scoreboard was locked up at 10-all at half time after Gilgandra had scored consecutively through Ash Hazelton and Joe Alchin (Brandon Hammond converted the second try) to which Cobar replied with tries to Ben Simon (which was converted by David Watson) and Tyson Brilley.
The Panthers opened the scoring early in the second half with a converted try to Laiten Diggs before Cobar hit back with a flying try by Jed Noonan out wide and then Chris Deighton capitalised on a Panthers’ ball handling error to run away to score.
Watson’s difficult conversion into the sun and with a cross breeze found its mark and put the Roosters ahead for the first time in the game 20-16.
A series of penalties against the Roosters gave the Panthers good field position and, with a try to George Alchin, the scores were locked up at 20-all with 20 minutes left to play in the match.
Brandon Hammond crossed and converted his own try to put the Panthers back in front.
A neat inside pass from Watson to Tim Hillam on the burst saw Hillam cross for a try but the Roosters trailed 24-26 when Watson’s conversion attempt bounced off the uprights.
With less than two minutes to play, the Roosters were scrambling in attack trying to spark something that would lead to a try.
However a ball handling error midfield was pounced on by the visitors who quickly spread it across field and their winger Zach Smith crossed out wide. Hammond’s sideline conversion attempt was waved away however their
30-24 lead with a minute to play was enough to win them the game.
The Roosters regathered the ball after a short kick off but a ball handling error thwarted their last ditch effort for points.
A comment by a Panthers player heard after the game was that this match against the Roosters had been their toughest this season.