Table leaders too good Home advantage lost in first 20 minutes

Leigh Hodak for the Bombala Bluetongues escapes the desperate reach of a Batemans Bay Boars player.
Leigh Hodak for the Bombala Bluetongues escapes the desperate reach of a Batemans Bay Boars player.

TOP of the table, the Batemans Bay Boars, travelled to Bombala on Saturday with plenty of man power.

The Boars won the toss and chose to run downhill with the wind at their backs. 

This proved to be a major advantage with the Boars having a 

massive opening 20 minutes.

The Boars were set on a quick paced game and caught the home team off guard.

With some well drilled phases the Bay boys made some good metres but struggled to break through a solid home team ruck defence.

Eventually the continued pressure led to points.

The visitors sent the ball wide with a slick backline move which sent the winger over the line – converting 7-0.

The Boars continued in much the same fashion for the next 15 minutes scoring another five trys of which four were converted, bringing the score line to 40-0.

With some small glimpses of good rugby from the Bluetongues, they just needed to get their hands on the ball. 

Batemans Bay had starved the home team of possession and this reflected in the score.

With only 10 minutes of the first half to go, Bombala lifted.

Another big game from the front row of Haywood Fraser, Vin Papalii and the returning Joel cherry all had strong carries of the ball, getting the Bluetongues into the visitors half.

From here it took an excellent individual effort from Leigh Radford who, playing at 13, busted the line, bringing the score to 40-5.

The second half proved to be a very different game indeed.

The Bluetongues were looking to starve the Boars of the ball and kept moving the ball up the field.

Great work from the likes of Ray Kading and Andrew Rutherford in the second row backed up by the two boys from Bega, Matt Gould and Glenn Martin, at breakaway, and the metres were coming easily for the home team.

Bombala needed to be next to score and the pressure they were putting on the boars paid dividends. 

A ruck 10 metres out set the stage for a ball to captain Vin Papalii who bashed through several defenders and planted the ball over the line, converted by Korie Elton, taking the score to 40-12.

Bombala continued to push the visitors but after having a man sent to the sin bin for dissent it was looking hard for the home side. 

However with a man down the Bombala boys lifted. In trying to push the pass the ball was lost and the Bay team needed to stop the momentum and use their overlap advantage.

Putting the ball through the backs a little kick through sat up beautifully for the flying outside centre for the Bay who crossed the line to bring up his hat trick. The score was 45-12.

With the sin binned player back on Bombala lifted again and proved hard to stop once they got their hands on the ball. 

Some strong runs out wide from Leigh Radford and Hugh Platts gave the territory to Bombala.

A pick and go from returning Angus Litchfield got the Bluetongues in behind the Bay defence. 

Quick ball from Dane Cottrell at halfback to Korie Elton, playing 5/8, saw him drift across the defensive line and break through the outside centre channel, showing a clean pair of heels to score - unconverted score 45-17.

Bombala lost another man to the sin bin for a high tackle which was an unfortunate accident but the referee saw it differently.

With a man down the Bay wanted to close the game, and again a well worked back line move saw them score – converted the score 52-17.

At the end of the game Bombala had won the second half but the onslaught from the Bay Boars in the first 20 minutes proved the difference.

Coach Vin Papalii was happy with the team’s efforts, especially the last 55 minutes of the game where the Bluetongues proved a real handful for the top of the table Boars.

Points for the week

3 pts Leigh Radford (Goats Graphics) at outside centre – another strong performance.

2 pts Joel Cherry (IGA Bombala) again proving himself to be a real workhorse during the game.

1 pt Glenn Martin (Brugalong Livestock) who was everywhere during the game.

Players player went to Ray Kading (Meadowbank Borders and Texels) at number 8 who had another great game setting a real high standard on the paddock.

Commitment cup went to our other breakaway Matt Gould who was in everything from the get-go.

Bombala have a bye this Saturday but training will be on Thursday night. 

Thanks to all our sponsors for your support.