The Cobar Roosters sent out a strong message that they are well and truly in the hunt for premiership honours in the 2020 Christie and Hood Castlereagh Rugby League competition when they scored an emphatic 36-18 win over the Dunedoo Swans on Saturday.
The win at Tom Knight Memorial Oval, in front of a good crowd, not only saw the Roosters claim outright second spot on the competition ladder but also sets up a blockbuster home game against competition front-runners the Gilgandra Panthers this Saturday.
The early exchanges in the Battle Of The Birds saw the feathers fly as the two teams ripped in resulting in a Cobar player cooling his heels in the sin bin after just five minutes of play had elapsed.
Prior to that the home side had conceded a number of penalties which afforded the Swans good field position which they duly converted into points via a try to their hard running fullback, Nathan Orr, for a 4-0 lead.
Play continued in a similar vein for the first quarter of the game, with the home side conceding penalties, and Dunedoo again taking advantage with Orr crossing for his second four pointer to make it eight points to nil to the Swans.
The Roosters then began to get their attack in order and before half time centre Nathan McAndrew had speared over wide out, followed by fullback Tim Hillam grounding a well placed grubber kick from five–eight David Watson.
James Neyland nailed both conversions, to put the home side in front 12-8 at half time.
The momentum that the Roosters had built going into the break was not lost due to the interruption and in the second half they drew away from the Swans.
Roosters’ lock Loma Atua and second-rower Jack Govett scored doubles, all converted by Neyland for a final tally of 36, while for Dunedoo halfback Dan Lane scored and Orr added another try in an impressive performance to take the Swans total to 18.
First Grade captain David Watson praised his team for a good performance and acknowledged the debut of two Under 18s players, Johnny Best and Tyler Coughlan, who made First Grade appearances in Saturday’s win.
Cobar’s Best and Fairest points were shared between Atuau (3), Hillam (2) and Jarrad Whitty (1).
The Swans did a good job on bottling up Whitty, Cobar’s dynamic hooker, and while he was not on the scorer’s list he played a strong role in much of the Rooster’s attack.
The 23 year old is expected to once again be a key player for the Roosters in their Round 6 match against the visiting Gilgandra Panthers this Saturday at Tom Knight Memorial Oval.
In the other match of the round at Binnaway the Bombshells got home in a thriller, winning the hard fought contest against the Coonamble Bears 23 to 22.