Night rugby returned to Cobar at the Ailsa Fitsimmons Memorial Oval last Friday with the local derby between Cobar and Nyngan’s Bogan Bulls.
The Bulls, sitting second on the Western Plains Rugby competition ladder, were looking for a big win to sneak closer to the minor premiership, while the Camels’ season is all but over, bar playing for pride.
The Bulls had a full strength squad along with a bus load of supporters and, after an early scare in the game when Cobar scored first, the Nyngan contingent went home happy after the Bulls closed out the game with a 26-8 win.
A good local crowd also braved the cold weather to support the Camels and, while it was a very cold evening on the sidelines, it was certainly hot on the field.
From the kick off the Camels took it to the Bulls and, after a few weeks without scrums, the Camels were chomping at the bit to pack down a proper scrum against the Bulls.
It only took two or three minutes for the first scrum of the game and some strong work from the entire Camels pack set the platform for the night.
Their strong arm tactics paid off quickly when a big scrum win saw the ball shifted quickly through the Camels’ hands and Tom Wall crossed untouched next to the posts to score.
The conversion kick went wide but Cobar’s spirits were high.
The Cobar scrum dominance continued and Nyngan were forced to make several changes to their scrum over the first half.
However they did manage to recover and snuck in a soft converted try out wide.
Cobar had two opportunities to take the lead just before halftime with penalty kicks but both went wide and Nyngan went to the half time break with a 7-5 lead.
The Bulls started the second half attacking the Camels’ line and a string of simple penalties saw the Bulls with a line-out win and subsequent maul driving over for their second try, that was unconverted.
The game continued to see-saw for the next 15 minutes until the Bulls managed another fairly soft try to take them out to a 19-5 lead.
A penalty to the Camels that was converted gave the local team some hope however the Bulls managed to crush that with another simple try out wide, sealing a 26-8 victory for the Bulls.
Despite the loss, Camels coach John Barnes was very happy with the team’s turnaround in performance in only seven days. While the Camels managed to dominate most areas of the game, there were however some areas of their defence that was found lacking at times.
Best on ground were Matt Green, Ben McBride, Loma Atuau and Jamie Peters while Jake Harbison was named Players’ Player.
This week’s game at Bourke on Saturday up against the Rams will sadly be the Cobar club’s last game of the season.—contributed