THE Batemans Bay Reds travelled to a cold and windy Bombala on Saturday to take on the Bombala Bluetongues who were in search of their first win for the year.
The Reds won the toss but from the kick off Bombala were keen to get early points.
Some good pressure from the Bluetongues forwards had the Reds struggling to make ground with ball in hand.
The Bluetongues’ strong defence soon forced a knock on and from the scrum the Bombala forwards were making good metres.
A nice inside ball back into the ruck from halfback Dane Cottrell saw No 8 Ray Kading (Village Ford) score, which Dane was able to convert – score 7-0 to Bombala.
Batemans Bay had the next run of good metres gained.
A short inside ball from the Reds 5/8 saw the big lock crash over, which was converted – 7 all.
From the kick off, Bombala had started well but were looking though they had not come out to play just yet, with a lack of the use of the shoulder in defence the big Bay forwards were making the gain line too easily.
From the lineout the Bay went to their big lock at the back of the line who ran through some poor defence to score under the posts, easy conversion, score to the Reds, 14-7.
A penalty to Bombala at the breakdown with the Red forwards sealing off the ball gave the Bluetongues a lineout just outside the 22.
A great rolling maul saw the Bluetongues drive the Bay Reds a full 23 metres.
The Reds tried to illegally pull the maul down, but it was too late and Andrew Boreham playing at no 6 (Dungaree Past Co) peeled off the maul and crashed over the line – converted score 14 all.
However this collapsed maul saw Steve Bonnett have to leave the field injured, replaced by Kincaid Lunn.
The Bay were next to score through some pace from their young backline – score 21-14 to the Reds.
The first half was a bit of a see-saw with both teams trading trys.
Bombala were next to score.
Bombala’s front rowers Haywood Fraser and Vin Papalii made good in roads into the Bay’s defence, backed up by our loose forwards in Slade Newton, Matt Gould and debutant Glenn Martin.
Chris Anderson at 10 used his inside backs William Beale and the returning Rhys Crouch to bust through the Bay backs and take the game further into the opposing half.
Another strong run from Ray Kading at 8 (Village Ford) saw him crash over to bag a double, unconverted, the score was 21-19 to the Reds.
The restart to Bombala put them right back on attack and they were again making decisive ground through a tired and cold looking Bay Red team.
William Beale was quick to control the game and directed the Bluetongues forwards and backs well.
A huge run from Rhys Crouch, who as usual was hard to stop one on one, meant Bombala were close to scoring again.
A ball out to Vin Papalii playing at No 1 (IGA Bombala) saw him throw a huge dummy and punch straight through the line to score, which converted gave Bombala the lead again - 26-21.
That brought the first half to a close, with a quick change of ends to avoid the chill, Bombala now had the wind at their backs with the downhill run.
The Bluetongues received the kick, however were unable to take the ball and the knock on gave the Bay a scrum 30 metres out.
A hard running front rower from the Reds was proving the difference at this point, and with each ball carry he was peeling off some real territory for his team. Being on the front foot gave the backs room to move and having sucked in some of the Bluetongues backs to the breakdown the Bay had the overlap and were able to score out wide through their young winger - unconverted score was 26 all.
Batemans Bay claimed the restart however their captain was then sin binned for 10 minutes after he led with his forearm to Bombala’s Matt Gould’s throat while carrying the ball.
The penalty kick for touch gave the Bluetongues easy metres to the lineout.
Again a drive saw the forwards pick off a solid 10 metres.
With several pick and gos from the ruck Bombala were driven back from scoring, however a third pick and go from Kincaid Lunn playing in No 2 (Bendoc Park Herefords) saw him squeeze over to score in the canteen corner - unconverted, the score was 31-26 to Bombala.
More sustained pressure in the Bay red zone from Bombala eventually led to more points.
A knocked down ball from the Bay which Ross Page playing fullback was able to pop off the ground to Andrew Boreham who found space down the blindside, threw a dummy and was over for his second - unconverted, Bombala led 36-26.
From the kick off ball kicked long into the corner and forced the Bay back three to kick for touch, giving the Bluetongues a lineout well into the opposition territory. Two quick hit ups in the forwards put Bombala on the front foot.
A wide ball from Dane Cottrell at half back to fly half William Beale who was then able to draw the inside defence and throw a cut ball to fullback Ross Page (HJ Brown Constructions) who ran through a big hole to score, converted took the Bombala lead to 43-26.
A frustrated Bay defence were being continuingly penalised for slowing the ball down and not clearing the ruck correctly.
A penalty 15 metres out saw halfback Dane Cottrell (Landmark Operations) take a quick tap which caught everyone by surprise and he was able to step his way to score under the posts, which he converted bringing the score to 50-26.
With only minutes to play the Bay got their hands on the ball and were throwing the ball around like the Harlem Globe Trotters in a last attempt to score.
A very hectic three minutes of rugby where the Bay kept the ball alive and had the Bluetongues back peddling eventually saw their winger score out wide on the final play, unconverted the final score was 50-31 to the Bombala Bluetongues.
A big thanks to the Batemans Bay Red team for travelling well and giving the Bombala boys a solid game of rugby, of which both teams commented on it has always been a good contest between the two teams over the last few years.
Points for Bombala this week were as follows:
3 points to Haywood Fraser (Linga Longa Cafe).
2 points to Raymond Kading (Village Ford).
1 point was shared between Andrew Boreham (Dungaree Past Co) and Dane Cottrell (Landmark Operations).
Players Player went to William Beale (Meadowbank Borders & Texels).
Commitment Cup went to Andrew Girvan playing in the second row (D & M Automotive).
Thanks again to all our sponsors this year.