Horn of plenty for Greenhalgh’s Rams: Western 18s down Panthers development sides
By NICK McGRATH
WESTERN Rams under-18 coach Cameron Greenhalgh has arguably the best and worst job in the region right now.
Greenhalgh’s under-18 Western Academy team racked up two hugely impressive victories over both Penrith Panthers under-17 development sides during the curtain raisers for Saturday night’s NRL trial game at Wade Park, giving the Forbes-based mentor plenty of confidence heading into the country championships this season.
The problem now becomes trimming his squad to a 20-strong Rams contingent, undoubtedly, resulting in some quality players missing the cut.
“It’s created a few headaches, the way we’ve played today,” Greenhalgh said after his side won 16-4 and then 20-8.
“Up against quality opposition like Penrith, we were fantastic. We started really, really well in the first 40 against the first Penrith side and I’m really happy with how we went there.
“And in the [second game] we were a bit slow to get going but that happens with a lay-off in between games.
“Once we found our groove we went well.”
Blayney’s Lachlan Farr was especially strong in the Western Academy’s second outing, opening the scoring against the Panthers development (2) side with a breath-taking, 80-metre dash after defusing a bomb, racing to the 20 metre line for the optional restart and then doing the rest solo.
That was from fullback, a position he excelled at before the gangly Bears junior later reappeared at prop.
“He can play from fullback to front row and I actually gave him a run at prop there in the last 10 minutes and he handled himself in attack and defence. He was very impressive today, Lachy, yeah,” Greenhalgh said.
Bathurst’s Adam Fearnley was also strong at five-eighth, while Trundle brut Brad Gaut and Forbes prop Izaac Scott were also impressive, the former scoring in the five-tries-to-two rout in the second clash.
“Really confident,” Greenhalgh said of his side’s position leading into Rams selection, Rick Nobes and Dubbo’s Kane McDermott catching the coach’s eye.
“We’ve got a good mix of older and younger age kids there that really, I think, with five or six training runs under our belt we can be really competitive.
“We were strong throughout when we had to be. We had touches of brilliance, all of them. and, like I said, it’s given us a bit of headache picking a [Rams] team.”
WESTERN ACADEMY 20 (Lachy Farr, Brad Gaut, Adam Fearnley, Moung Dut, Jai Doolan tries) def PENRITH DEVELOPMENT 8 (Brad McCaffery, Jayden Harris tries).