Old warhorses called to lead Camels in tough battle

He might be 47 years old, but Mark Aumua barely shows any signs of his advanced years when he’s on the rugby field. Aumua did a great job leading the Camels up against the Western Plains Rugby competition leaders, Coonamble at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval on Saturday. Photo contributed

With injuries and work commitments, the Cobar Camels had to dig deep to field a side for their Western Plains Rugby home game against Coonamble on Saturday.

Camels Coach Len Baker said he always knew that the game against the competition’s leading team was going to be a tough one, however he had hoped he would have had his No 1 side for Saturday’s game.

“We had a depleted side again with a number of our top players out,” Baker said.

“I didn’t know what team I was putting on until 10 minutes before the start of the game.”

Baker said he had to depend upon veterans Mark Aumua, Stephen Gillette and Drew Weaver (in his final game with the Camels) to lead the team which included three “schoolboys” and a number of other regulars who had to switch jumpers to slot into key positions for Saturday’s match.

He said while it was obvious there was disorganisation in the Cobar forward pack for the first 10-15 minutes of the game, the side did come together and held Coonamble down in their half.

Their hard work also resulted in a try after good lead up work from Sam Baker who found Liam Young in support.

Young had some work to do to get over the line however he eventually scored dragging three defenders with him to close the deficit to 28-5 at half time.

Jamie Peters crossed for the Camels in the second half (which Ryan Hall converted) to give the Camels a final tally of 12 while Coonamble finished with 53 points for the game.

Cobar’s man of the match, Aumua (who played all but the final 10 minutes of the game) was an inspiration to his side, collected Best & Fairest three points.

Peters earned two points and one point went to Hall.

Baker also praised Taufoa Taufoa, who he said had a big impact when he went on in the second half; Baker in the front row; Alex Allen who was all over the place; Young, who is normally a winger but played out of position at the side of the scrum; schoolboy Eddie Weaver who had a good game; as well as Slade Neale, Tommy Wihongi and Jake Harbison who played despite carrying injuries.