Central Highlands Rugby League - Round 3 Review
By Cameron Stallard - CHRL Secretary
Emerald Tigers Ladies defeated Middlemount Pink Panthers Ladies (Forfeit)
Clermont Bears Ladies – Bye
Clermont Bears 26 defeated Springsure Mountain Men 6
CB Tries: Sean Haufe 2, Kallum Bailey, Aidan McGarity, Blake Waters
CB Goals: Astin Nunan 3
SM Tries: Dan Mattey
SM Goals: Adam Noffke
Clermont travelled down to the mountains to face Springsure on their third straight Friday night fixture for 2014 with a very understrength squad compared to the usual starting 19 due to injuries and work commitments. Springsure were also understrength with a few players out due to injury and also due to a wedding but that didn't stop the team's hunger to upset the defending premiers to get their first win of 2014. A good crowd was also on display for a Friday Night on a rather warm Autumn's night in Springsure.
The game started off competitive with no team scoring for the first 10 minutes before Sean Haufe scored his first for the night. The points then continued for Clermont throughout the first half to get a 16-nil lead at the break.
Springsure had the possession of the football but unfortunately just couldn't capitalise on opportunities with a lot of dropped ball and lack of completions.
The second half was a different story though as Springsure came out of the sheds a different team. The hunger to upset the Bears that was shown in the first 10 minutes returned and the crowd could feel it, so much so, that the crowd cheered Springsure on louder and louder.
Springsure attacked the line of defence harder and more precise during the second half which started to weaken the Clermont defence and leave a few gaps which Springsure could have penetrated. Clermont demonstrated why they were the 2013 premiers though and even though they were fatigued, still pressured Springsure to make mistakes, in which they did, giving the Bears the ball to work up to the other end of the field.
Persistence finally paid off in the 79th minute for Springsure when Dan Mattey broke the line of defence and scored under the sticks on the hooter.
Overall, it was a good game for both sides who were both understrength and the crowd enjoyed just as much.
Springsure's match fitness improved 110% from their Round 2 match and reducing the dropped football and completing sets will be most probably the two key points that coach Gary Mayne will work on this week before heading to Emerald on Saturday to play the Tigers, who received a touch up from Bluff over the weekend. Both teams haven't won a game this year and no doubt it will be a great match on Saturday.
For Clermont, their full strength side should hopefully return on Saturday for their home game against a struggling, but persistent, Middlemount.
Bluff Rabbitohs 48 defeated Emerald Tigers 22
BR Tries: Peter McLaughlin 4, Mitchell Power 2, Josh Doyle, Blake Vesey, Chris Conway, Ethan McLaughlin
BR Goals: Craig Dodd 3, Mitchell Power 1
ET Tries: Isaiah Huet, Sebastien Stiegler, Josh Johnston, Tani Totau
ET Goals: Ray Downie 2
McIndoe Park was filled with the colour purple for Domestic Violence Prevention Round on Saturday night and a good sized crowd came through the gates eager to see a good game between two in-form teams in contention for this year's premiership. The Tigers were understrength missing a few players including captain Henry Watkins due to injury but for Bluff, the side was mostly full strength and ready to give it a red hot go and deny the Tigers their first win of the season.
From the start, it just didn't seem to be the Tigers night when an overlap in the defence left a gap in the left side of the field for young Mitch Power to run through and score his first for the night. From there, the tries kept coming.
The Tigers stayed in the game though with their first try going to fill-in fullback, Isaiah Huet, who broke away and scored the Tigers first points after tries went to Bluff's Chris Conway and Peter McLaughlin.
Bluff scored again with the winger, Blake Vesey before the Tigers hit back with a try to young Sebastien Stiegler scoring on the right side of the field after playing on the left side wing.
Another try went to Bluff's Peter McLaughlin and at half time, it was 22-10 to Bluff with the Tigers still in with a chance.
Bluff came out of the sheds firing in the second half and scored another four tries. A consolation try was then gifted to the Tigers before some brilliance from Peter McLaughlin who intercepted the ball from his 10 metre line and run the length of the field to score his fourth try of the night. Isaiah Huet tried to chase McLaughlin down but was stepped in the last 10 metres.
The Tigers scored again but it was too little too late with Bluff getting over the Tigers 48-22.
Bluff are the most in form team in the competition at present looking dangerous in both their attacking and defensive sets. They are also a well disciplined side with a mentality on the field that the score of the game is always nil-nil regardless of the score.
The next few games for Bluff aren't easy though. They host the Cowboys this weekend before the Bye weekend, and then on June 14, will travel to Clermont to play the defending premiers.
For the Tigers, they should be proud of their young squad who gave everything to get the win. The likes of Isaiah Huet, Sebastian Stiegler, Josh Johnston, Jackson Morgan and Tani Totau are exciting to watch and are a real asset for the Tigers' future.
They face Springsure at home this weekend and then travel away to Middlemount on May 31st.
Blackwater Crushers 44 defeated Middlemount Panthers 18
BC Tries: Edgar Broome 3, Brad Gorman 2, Colby Napper, Andrew McGregor, Kelly Gage, Brandon Ferguson
BC Goals: Shae Cox 3, Chris Johnson
MM Tries: Patrick McMahon, Will Davidson, Ryan Hansell
MM Goals: Briar Turley 3
A good crowd rolled through the gates of Hinricks Oval in order to hopefully see Blackwater pick up their first win of the season against a struggling, but determined Middlemount.
For the first 20 or so minutes, the game was for the taking by both teams but then Blackwater really turned up the heat on Middlemount leading to a 22-6 half time deficit for the Panthers.
Blackwater excelled for a majority of the second half but in saying that, Middlemount fought back scoring two more tries but Blackwater were just too strong at home winning the match 44-18.
From reports, the young Blackwater backs really penetrated the line of defence leading to many tries for those players. They have a week off this weekend and then are away on May 31st to play Cowboys at McIndoe.
For Middlemount, it's disappointing for the club to not get the results that they want when the committee and playing pack are trying so hard under the tough conditions. Shift work and rosters have played a major part in not being able to field a full squad yet but hopefully we will see a full strength Panthers side this weekend ready to upset the Bears this weekend in Clermont.
Emerald Cowboys – Bye