PICKERS' POWER OVERWHELMS ROOS IN WAGGA
By Les Muir
THE physical approach worked to perfection as Young swamped Kangaroos 38-12 in a titanic battle at McDonald’s Park on Sunday.
After a brutal first half finished at 12-all, Young’s aggression and power wore down Kangaroos and the Cherrypickers were able to blaze on the last five tries.
Young’s commanding show of strength not only consolidated their hold on third position on the table, but put the torch to Roos chances of making the finals.
Young captain-coach James Woolford later described the seven tries landslide as a milestone performance for his team.
Woolford said Young had travelled to Wagga expecting Roos to throw in for a dogfight.
“We knew they’d come out firing; we knew they’d be very tough,” Woolford said.
“We also knew that if we stuck in the arm-wrestle, and came out the other side we’d be all right.”
With the robust Young forwards setting a platform, Cherrypickers halfback Ray Talimalie was in his element and caused utter mayhem.
In a grandstand display, Talimalie scored a brilliant solo try, gave the final pass for two tries and created a try for winger Jack Bush in the 57th minute with a wonderful grubber kick.
Despite Talimalie’s dynamic showing, it was Young’s tenacity and desire that swept the team to a runaway success.
Woolford said Young had been waiting to produce such a determined effort, spearheaded in spardes by the skipper and lock William Scott.
“We’ve talked a lot about playing for 80 minutes,” Woolford said.
“Sometimes we haven’t been able to string the full 80 minutes together, but today I think we did.
“I thought we were a little bit patchy in the first half but we came through the other side, and in the second half we were really good.”
Heading into successive blockbusters against Southcity (June 25) and Gundagai (July 2), Young is in season-best touch, according to the skipper.
“It’s one of the tougher games we’ve played and our fitness prevailed in the end,” he said.
“It was up there (with our best), definitely up there.
“We were down to two on the bench in the second half, but the boys turned up and we finished really good.
“Now we’ve got a tough couple of weeks coming up and we’ve got to go again.”
Unsurprisingly, Woolford’s pleasure was in stark contrast to the doom and gloom in the Kangaroos camp.
Kangaroos captain-coach Ben Jeffery refused to back away from the possible dire consequences of the result.
“We really needed to win today,” Jeffery said.
“It’s going to be very hard to make the semis now.
“I thought the first half was pretty good, but a few drops in the second half and a truckload of penalties against us made a difference.”
Not for the first time this year, Roos were on the wrong side of the penalty count and also took exception to several unreported incidents in the game.
Ultimately, however, Young were too rugged in the trenches, but they will face a sterner test against Southcity at Alfred Oval next Sunday.
YOUNG 38 (J Bush 2, L Jackson, J Woolford, R Talamalie, H Cowled, W Scott tries; R Talamalie 5 goals)d KANGAROOS 12 (T Dickson, B Jeffery tries; B Jeffery 2 goals) at McDonald’s Park. Scrums: 5-11. Penalties: 11-5. Referee: Shane Bartlett