Round 12 Bombala’s Heritage Round
It was perfect conditions for Bombala’s Annual Heritage Round against the Cooma Stallions club on Saturday, July 8. This year the Blue Heelers were dedicating their Heritage Round to celebrate the culmination of two powerhouse clubs coming together in the Delegate Tigers and Bombala Blue Heelers back in 1983. The Bombala Showground hosted a full house with people and cars being stacked into the grounds early, all vying for a good spectating position. The senior club would like to publicly recognise all those who helped out and volunteered their time on the day to make it a success especially those volunteers from the Junior Football club, helping to run the canteen, bar and barbecue all day. A massive thank you to supporters from both clubs coming out on Saturday, it provided a fantastic atmosphere not only for the players but for everyone involved.
Ladies League Tag
It was a tough start for the High Heelers as the Cooma Fillies came out firing, dominating the field possession in the first half. Early kicks were constantly putting the Heelers on the back foot, forcing them to defend back to back sets on their line. Eventually the Fillies would slip through the Heelers defence to score under the posts and take the lead 6-0. After half time the High Heelers took to the field determined to turn things around in front of their huge home crowd. From the kick off the momentum would shift to the Heelers and the Fillies would have no answers to the skill and class of the Bombala girls. It was captain Patrice Clear who would start off the points weaving through defenders to score close to the sticks. As the kick was waved away hitting the uprights, the Heelers would still trail by 2 at 6-4. However from the next kick-off Monique Perkins would link up with Tash Stewart who found space, speeding away to score the second try for the Heelers. At 8-6 the Heelers led narrowly. Georgie Clarke and Amy Stone proved very stable in defence and both Amy Badewitz and Georgia Jones were very safe out wide for the Heelers. Great control in the middle from Emma Sullivan would help see the Heelers keep their composure and the points would soon keep coming. Keiarna Rodwell linked up extremely well with Patrice Clear, the pair looking dangerous every time they touched the ball. Clear would bag her second of the day out wide as would Rodwell before full time taking the final score to 16-6. Players player and 3 points went to Patrice Clear (sponsored by Clear Cut Electrical), 2 points went to Keiarna Rodwell (sponsored by Rodwell Haulage and Plant Hire) and 1 point went to Emma Sullivan (sponsored by DF & D Stewart).
It was a tightly contested first 15 minutes between the Cooma Stallions and the Blue Heelers reserve grade teams. Cooma would eventually find the line twice via Luke Rixon and once via Jerod Blyton taking the Cooma side to a 14-0 lead 30 minutes in. The Bombala lads did not let this lead get to them and they continued to ruck the ball up well. Slade Newton was a standout in carting the ball up as was Paul Gimbert. Andrew Platts played a very consistent game and provided much needed tight defence. Digby Walcott played a great game in at the halves as did Korie Elton. Eventually Digby Walcott would find the try line and with Korie’s conversion the Heelers would take to the sheds trailing just 14-6. The second half saw Bombala fire out of the blocks taking early points via Brett Thompson closing the gap to 14-10. However Cooma would hit back again through Rixon who would muscle his way over for a hat trick. At 22-10 the Bombala home side had plenty of work to do with just 13 minutes left on the clock. Eventually captain coach Korie Elton would muscle his way over, in converting his own try the score would close in to 16-22. However it would seem the Heelers would run out of time unable to get one more converted try that would have locked the scores back up, defeated 16-22 as the hooter blew. Players player and 3 points went to Slade Newton 2 points went to Paul Gimbert, 1 point went to Andrew Platts.
Having been presented their jerseys from former Delegate/Bombala players it was with great pride that the first grade Bombala team would take the field. The home-side started strong with fullback Bailey Jones finding gaps in the oppositions defence scoring out wide just 2 minutes in. Eight minutes later the classy Bombala halfback Tyler Jones would take an intercept to run 60 metres to score for the Blue Heelers. As the Heelers led 10-0 just 13 minutes in it was then Cooma who would eventually see some good field possession and halfback Zack Smith proved too hard to stop, scoring first points for the Stallions. On the back again of Bombala unforced errors the Cooma side would be piggybacked out of their own half and this would allow Cooma’s Blayne Thomas to push through defenders to score. Smith’s precision kicking got the Stallions in front 12-10. Just before half time the Cooma team would score again taking their lead out to 18-10 at half time.
The away side would resume strongly after the break as their powerhouse centre Karlos Filiga would show his skills by making a dominating run down the sideline, evading defenders left, right and centre to score out wide for the away team. At 22-10 the home team had some work to do, but the fire in their bellies was prevalent and the crowd certainly helped to fuel it. The next 30 minutes saw the home team hit back hard. Alex Rosten was again brilliant in retrieving and running the ball for the Heelers. His lightening pace footwork was on display as he chased down a fantastic Blake Robinson bomb able to beat defenders and score what looked like the try of the day only to be called back by the ref with an offside call. Tyler Jones would again use his fancy footwork and speed to his advantage taking a quick dart from dummy stepping in behind the ruck where the big Cooma lads could not handle his evasive movements, striding away to score for the Heelers, taking the score to 14-22. Adam Rodwell again played out of his skin, rucking the ball up with great strength and speed. Rodwell’s eventual combination with Joe Bobbin out to the right hand side saw Joe race away from defenders able to score himself, edging his team closer 18-22. As the momentum seemed to swing back to Bombala’s favour the crowd was beaming. Bailey Jones was instrumental in the next try providing great support up the middle, striding away only to be held up inches shy from the line. His quick play the ball however to Tyler Jones could not be shut down by the Cooma boys who could not match the Jones boys pace allowing Tyler to score a hat-trick of tries. With conversions not in Bombala’s favour it would seem they were going to have to beat the top of the table, undefeated Stallions side the hard way – finally the scores were all looked up at 22 all with 10 minutes left on the clock – it was still anyone’s game! The next few minutes seemed brutal as with each hit up you could feel the desperation from both teams. It was Bombala’s Captain Coach who would lead from the front, Bobbin would make a burst down the right hand side again. A quick play the ball saw the Bombala lads spread the ball, Blake Robinsons precision cut out ball hit Wame Belolevu clean and he was able to muscle his way through defenders to score out wide for the Heelers. The crowd went ballistic at this stage as the Bombala lads would hit the lead again with just 5 minutes left on the clock – as again the conversion was waved away Bombala led 26-22.
Credit to the Cooma side, they did not hang their heads and instead capitalised on a floating lose pass from Bombala. This allowed them to take the ball back down to Bombala’s defensive line putting great pressure on the Heelers defence. As the home side boys seemed out on their feet, the Cooma side was able to push over for one last try. As the home crowd held their breath wishing the conversion attempt to be waved away, the class of Zack Smith could not be denied as he slotted the match winning two points taking the score to 28-26 to the Cooma side. While the Bombala lads put in a valiant effort scoring 6 tries to Cooma’s 5; converting only 1 of 6 would prove detrimental to the loss. Players player and 3 points went to Tyler Jones (sponsored by Raw Strength & Fitness), 2 points went to Wame Belolevu (sponsored by Monaro Native Nursery), 1 point was shared between Adam Rodwell (sponsored by Southern Stockyard & Fencing) and Alex Rosten (sponsored by Cottrell Toyota).
Celebrations back at the Bombala RSL Club proved very successful as the Bombala club would auction off the prestigious jerseys making on average $1000 per jumper. The generosity once again and continued support from the community was overwhelming. Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed and to the Bombala RSL club for hosting.
Next weekend the Bombala sides take on the Eden club in round 13 on Saturday, July 15 where there will be a full day of footy from Juniors right through to seniors finishing up under lights. This round the Bombala Club will be supporting “Women in League” with the senior ladies donning pink socks to celebrate and recognise the role of women in Rugby League and everything they bring to the sport. We welcome everyone to come along again to support Bombala’s footy talent through all the various age groups.