The Greta-Branxton Colts' Huntlee Tavern reserve grade team had a successful trip up the Golden Highway on the weekend, coming home with a 26-12 win over the Denman Devils.
After a bruising opening 10 or so minutes it was the Colts to strike first after five eighth Jacob Barnes turned back rower Travis Sams underneath and with a big right foot step Travis surged through a gap before despite the attention of multiple defenders he threw a neat pass inside to fullback Cain Bonham who streaked away and scored under the black dot. Hooker Haiden Kowalski added the extras and the Colts led 6-0.
Another arm wrestle ensued and it was the devils next to score despite the protests of several Colts players who were adamant that they had held the ball up. The try was duly converted and scores were level at 6 all.
With blood flowing from a head wound, coach Hamson pleaded with his troops in the in goal to lift another gear and this, combined with the injection off the bench of the blockbusting Hayden Slade who was returning from injury seemed to do the trick. From deep inside Colts territory Slade ran the ball down the right edge before completely steam rolling his opposite number and ultimately turning the ball inside for debutant Harley Oliver to streak away and score. Kowalski again added the extras and the score was 12-6.
Then in the shadows of half time it was that man again Slade who called the ball down the short side before taking on the line and holding the ball up beautifully to put his halfback Ethan Sams through a hole and over the line to score. Kowalski's attempted conversion from the sideline struck the upright and the score remained 16-6 at oranges.
The Colts shot out of the blocks in the second half having kicked off and an unforced error by the Devils on the second tackle of the half saw lock Jimoin Norman scoop up the loose ball before turning inside to Ethan Sams to dive over for his second of the afternoon. Kowalski again added the extras and the Colts now led 22-6.
Just as it looked as though the floodgates might open, buoyed by a vocal home crowd, the Devils lifted a gear and were the next to score a rather soft try through the ruck and the score was 22-12.
Hooker Kowalski was next to get in on the action after the ball went through multiple sets of hands Kowalski pinned his ears for the corner post and crossed the stripe for the final score of the game.
The final score remained 26-12 when the full time siren sounded. Best for the Colts were the young brigade of Ethan Sams, Cain Bonham and Haiden Kowalski with Hayden Slade and Travis Sams also having big games.
The Colts are away this weekend at Aberdeen which is sure to be a physical and fiercely contested match.
- Article supplied by John Hamson
Bengalla Group 21 Rugby League Round 4 Results
First Grade: Scone def. Muswellbrook 48-6, Aberdeen def. Singleton 20-16, Denman - bye
Reserve Grade:Greta Branxton def. Denman 26-12, Murrurundi def. Muswellbrook 52-0, Scone def. Merriwa 28-18, Singleton drew with Aberdeen 22 all
Under 18s: Aberdeen def. Singleton 26-14
Monarch Blues Tag: Murrurundi def. Denman 70-0, Scone def. Merriwa 24-0, Aberdeen def. Singleton 30-6