Roosters are looking strong this season

Chris Deighton, with support from Troy Knight (at left) and Simon Bowen (at right) heading to the try line on Saturday in the Cobar Roosters trial game 62-14 win over Hay. ▪ Photo courtesy of Klae McGuinness Photography

If the Cobar Roosters’ 62-14 demolition of the Hay Magpies on Saturday is anything to go by, then the Cobar First Grade side is in for a strong season ahead.

The trial game at Tom Knight Memorial Oval on Saturday afternoon was the Cobar team’s first hit out for the year and with 11 separate try scorers in the team, new Roosters coach Ben Trudgett was suitably impressed.

“Our attack clicked from the beginning and were finding holes in the Magpies’ defence every set.

“There will be some work to do in defensive structures with the players but overall it was a fantastic start to our season,” Trudgett told The Cobar Weekly.

Tim Hillam was named team captain for the 2017 season and led the Roosters on Saturday with a Man of the Match performance from fullback.

“We have a number of new players in the team and I was pleased with the new halves combination of David Watson and Robert Childs,” Trudgett said.

He was also impressed with the performance of his forward pack of Troy Knight, Ben Simon, Jason Fell and Chris Deighton along with Sam Baker and Ulrich Eins who came off the bench.

“Our outside backs looked impressive with all of them bagging tries, showing some flair and fancy footwork,” Trudgett said.

“Simon Bowen, Brandon Jones and Nick Furner showed they will be a valued addition to our existing backline from 2016.”

The Roosters took control of Saturday’s game from the outset starving the Hay side of possession and points to take a commanding
30-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Knight crossed within the first five minutes of play quickly followed up by Deighton, Hillam, Evan Rice, Ben Simon and then Isaac Kershaw’s try just before the break gave the Cobar team a commanding 30 point lead.

With both sides having ample reserves on their benches, the match was played at a frenetic pace.

Hay got back into the match in the second quarter and narrowed the margin to 30-10 before the Roosters took back total control.

Nick Furner crossed after gathering in a long pass across field from Ben Simon to give Cobar a 34-10 lead at half time.

More punishing tackles from Ethan Black and on field direction from Coach Trudgett in the third quarter helped the Roosters to pile on the points.

A runaway try for Brandon Jones scored after a midfield break by Hillam and Deighton’s second try of the game helped to keep the Roosters’ score ticking over.

They led 42-10 at three-quarter time.

One of the highlights of the final quarter was a fantastic solo try by Will Whitton, who looked to have no room to move, but still managed to sprint 50 metres down the narrowest of margins on the sideline and then side-step two Hay defenders to score.

A block busting 20m run by Ben Simon resulted in his second try of the game; a charging run and dive over try by Eins; and a late cross by hard working centre Simon Bowen blew out the Roosters’ final total to 62 with Childs finishing the match with five goals.

Tries for Hay were recorded by Harley Hey, Ryan Gash and Mitch Midok with Hey kicking one goal.

Coach Trudgett said with the large amount of interest shown by players in Saturday’s game it will come down to their commitment to training and levels of fitness that will get them a run with the side in this year’s Barwon Darling Cup competition games.