It was a very entertaining game of rugby at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval on Saturday when the Cobar Camels took on the Warren Pumas.
The club also took advantage of the home game to help promote Batyr with raising awareness and much needed funds for their locally based mental health programs.
Both teams wore the ‘Batyr one sock’ and the Cobar Rugby Club donated all proceeds from the gate toward the organisation.
The Camels were desperate for the win in an effort to keep their 2016 Western Plains Rugby finals hopes alive, while a loss for Warren would have seen them drop out of the top four.
The conditions were perfect for rugby and the Cobar team was fired up.
From the kick off the pressure was applied and it paid off with the Warren No 8 dropping the ball off the kick.
The ensuing scrum gave the Camels a chance to show their strength and within five minutes they had crossed for their first points.
The kick was missed.
The match continued to flow the way the Camels had planned and some great support play by Clay Neale saw the score go out to 12-0 mid-way through the half.
However some excellent broken field running by the Warren outside backs saw the scores level to 12-all with five minutes to go in the half.
The strength of the Camels’ scrum took its toll on the visiting team and they pulled the ‘uncontested scrum’ card out of their back pocket.
Despite the loss of the scrum it was some fast hands and great support play that put Shane Junior in for the Camels’ third try and a handy 19-12 halftime lead.
The second half was a very tough affair with the Cobar team losing two of their outside backs to injury.
The Pumas went all out in attack and managed to score two quick tries in the first 10 minutes of the half to take the lead, 22-19.
The Camels gave everything they had but couldn’t break the Pumas’ very strong defence.
A penalty kick to the Pumas right in front of the Camels’ posts also made Cobar’s task that much harder and Warren extended their lead to 25-19.
The run of penalties continued against the local team and finally the referee had no option but to send a Camel off for repeated ruck infringements, gifting the Warren team another shot at goal right in front of the posts.
It was also the last play of the game and the final score was 28-19 in Warren’s favour.
Best for the Camels were Jake Harbison, Jamie Peters and Chris Deighton and the referees points went to Steve Gillette.
The game was one of the best the Camels had played this season, and the turning point for the Warren team can be pin pointed to the introduction of the uncontested scrums.
It was a very disappointing move and is an issue that the Cobar Camels will be taking to the Western Plains Zone for further discussion.
The Camels will make their longest road trip of the season this Saturday when they head to Walgett.
Walgett narrowly lost to Brewarrina last week and are sitting below Cobar on the ladder. A win for the Camels will guarantee Walgett will collect the wooden spoon.—contributed