Tamworth had a slow start against last year's grand finalist Narrabri in a muddy home ground affair, but finished with a strong second half in front of a big ladies' day crowd.
It took just three minutes for Narrabri to score after Tamworth dropped the ball from the kick off. For the next 20 minutes Narrabri continued to punch forward, and got an excellent roll on, which lead to a 19-nil lead. It took until mid-way through the half for Tamworth to get into the arm wrestle and were rewarded with a penalty to flyhalf Adam Penman before half time to make the score 19-3.
With the Tamworth ladies looking on, the team rallied in the second half in what was their best performance of the season so far. They dominated possession and field position, camping down in Narrabri's half for long periods of time and were rewarded with a try to halfback Billy Urquhart.
The Magpies were unlucky not to come away with more points, with the ball often going to ground when the Blue Boar's were vulnerable. To their credit, Narrabri's defence was outstanding and withstood continuous phases.
Missed one-on-one tackles led to a couple of tries against the run of play, which sealed a 31-10 victory for the Boars, but Grub was extremely pleased with his side's performance, which was a massive improvement to previous rounds. He said Billy Urquhart, flanker Jack Barker, centre Kieran McHugh were among the team's best
A soggy Rugby Park greeted the visiting Narrabri Blue Boars for the big Ladies day clash with the Tamworth Magpies.
The reserve grade clash started with a now familiar theme for the team with a dropped kick off and Narrabri were straight onto the attack. Unlike last week the Magpies were up for this game and the defence was quick and effective. Play soon had the Tamworth team retaining the ball and on the attack in the blue boars red zone for 15 mins but could not score due to good defence and the odd handling error.
Narrabri weathered the storm then broke out and persistent forward pressure lead to the number 8 bursting through close to the ruck to score an unconverted try. The Magpies ground their way back onto the attack with their scrum being very effective, young prop Zac Cutmore leading the way. Good passing along the backline saw a rampaging Dylan Cross score to level the scores at 5 all 22 minutes into the game.
Play ebbed and flowed until a good short passing movement lead to Narrabri scoring near the posts 5 – 12 at oranges. Some fresh legs at halftime and the ruck defence tweaked had Tamworth in command for long periods but unable to crack the strong defence.
Dylan Cross then burst through but with the line open lost control of the ball. Shortly after the pressure told and Charles Sherwood got his inspector gadget arm working to touch down with two defenders trying to hold him out 10 – 12.
Narrabri were pressing the line when the magpies’ backs put Cross away again only for the last pass to go down missing another certain try. Pat Strong then missed a penalty shot.
Another penalty and captain Ben Roughley stepped up and nailed the 3 points with 12 minutes to go. 13 – 12. Both sides were desperate to score but the defence was equal to the task and the Magpies hung on for a well-earned win with contributions from the full squad.
Point scorers Tries Dylan Cross and Charles Sherwood with penalty goal to Ben Roughley. Best and Fairest 3. Zac Cutmore 2. Henry Noble and Ben Coombes 1. Ben Roughley
Finally the boys get to play rugby,
Provided a try scoring feast against Narrabri, 52 to 24. Unfortunately our opponents arrived with only 14 men so as requested it had to be 14 aside, ad an injury or two the numbers progressed lower as the game went on.
The Magpie forwards definitely set the platform through out the game promoting clean ball and great opportunity for the new improved back line to perform. Tries to Jack Murry, Adam Wallace, Jack Hannaford, and Cooper Thompson (with a fine cameo appearance) Angus Lang and new recruit Sam Gray.
Here we go across the creek to take on Pirates this week end.
The players were ready to take revenge from the hiding they received in Narrabri on the 20th May. The young Magpies were magnificent. The highlight of the game for the coaches was the players’ goal line defence. It was outstanding, late in the game by sustained attacks from Narrabri.
Congratulations to our new players, Tom Croake, Braydyn Finlay, Rowan Stathan, Mitch Bowen, Kelby Mclean, Lachlan O’Keefe, Harry Snook and Mitchell Watts. All fitted into our pattern of play and defended like demons and supported their mates. Super Effort!!!!!
The forwards got the ball moving in the right direction for our backs to attack on many occasions.
Our Pack leaders were Jake Urquhart and Barry Lane supported by Riley Catts, Ethan Smith, Angus MacDonald, Kelby McLean, Elton Shibble, Jack Alcock, Te Awhitu Nankivell, Tom Croake and Mitchell Watts.
The backline was a new one with Sam Buster and Lachlan O’Keefe in the halves, Ben Grant and Conor Lang in the centres with the back three a mixture of Mitch Bowen, AJ Engelbracht, Rowan Stathan, Braydyn Finlay and Harry Snook.
Well done to our Old Heads in laying the solid foundation for the win and the new players followed your led.