Missed Opportunities Hurt Cockatoo Colts
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts finished their 2013 program with a close but disappointing 17 – 7 loss to the ACT Colts in Wollongong.
The match for the Cockatoo Colts could be best described as one of missed opportunities, with the team being unable to convert possession and field position into points on the score board at critical times during the match.
An unconverted try to the ACT Colts from a disjointed scrum in the opening minutes of the match set the young Cockatoos back on their heels, and it took them quite awhile before they got into the pace of the match.
Once settling into the match the team started to play some attractive and attacking Rugby, but on numerous occasions the attacking raids came to nothing as a result of indecision, wrong option taking or strong ACT defence.
At various times during the ensuing twenty minutes both teams made numerous attacking raids, but neither were able to get over the others try line. Both teams were keen to run the ball, and on several occasions each side elected to kick for touch rather than kick for goal.
The scoring drought was finally broken in the twenty seventh minute when Country were mounting a promising attacking raid in the ACT’s twenty two, when a long cut out pass was intercepted for a converted try resulting in the ACT skipping away to a 12 – 0 lead.
Country recovered quickly and continued to attack strongly, which had the ACT having to pull out all stops and on several occasions conceded penalties at the breakdown.
With less than a minute left on the clock an ACT player was sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements at the breakdown. The Cockatoo Colts capitalised very quickly and flanker Andrew Boyce finished off a surging drive to peel off and cross for a converted try, which made the score 12 – 7 at the break.
The majority of the second half was basically dominated by the Cockatoo Colts, but as had been the case in the first half, try scoring opportunities were once again denied by indecision, poor options and very solid defence.
After weathering attacking raids for the majority of the half the ACT started to apply their own pressure, and they were rewarded when a loose Country lineout throw in their own twenty two resulted in the ACT powering over for a try to set up a winning 17 – 7 lead.
The Cockatoo Colts continued to apply pressure for the remainder of the match, which saw them coming close to scoring on several occasions, but unfortunately there was no further addition to the score-line.
Player of the Match was lock Vilai Kelemete while Flankers Andrew Boyce and Jack Barker together with half back Stuart McVicar and fullback Pratik Ahuja all played strongly.
ACT Colts – 17
3 Tries & Conversion
NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts – 7
Andrew Boyce Try
Pratik Ahuja Conversion
Cockatoo Colts Face Up Against ACT
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts will face up against the ACT Colts this Sunday in Wollongong in what will be their last match for 2013.
Following on from their very successful tour to Melbourne which saw the young Cockatoos register two very impressive victories over the VRU Colts, the team is gearing themselves for a very tough match against the ACT.
The ACT Colts have had the better of the results over the last two seasons, but a change in the structure of the Cockatoo Colts’ program sees the team go into the match with the benefit of a training camp and two matches under their respective belts.
NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts coach Matt Thomas knows the ACT Colts will be a much stronger side than the VRU opposition, but is confident this year’s team is up to causing a major upset.
He said “this year’s team is much stronger in all positions across the playing squad, where in previous years there were several positions which had some weaknesses”.
Thomas went on to say “the team’s preparation together with the way they have bonded as a group has seen them develop into a very impressive squad who has the confidence to back themselves on the playing field”.
The match will be played on Sunday, 19 May at Vikings Rugby Park, Wollongong kicking off at 12.30pm.
At the completion of the match the NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts Player of the Year will be announced at a function in the Vikings Rugby Club.
Admission is free and local Rugby supporters are encouraged to come along and see two very impressive Colts teams in action.
Cockatoo Colts Claim Second Victorian Scalp
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts made it two wins from two matches when they defeated the VRU Colts 28 – 19 to round off their Melbourne tour.
The match was played as the main curtain raiser to the SupeRugby fixture between the Melbourne Rebels v Chiefs at AAMI Park, Melbourne on Friday, 3 May 2013.
After an early settling in period by both teams the Cockatoo Colts were awarded a penalty at the ninth minute which resulted in centre Daniel Damen kicking a penalty goal to take Country out to a 3 point lead.
The following period of play was very tightly contested, but unfortunately Country’s discipline lapsed and the VRU were awarded three penalties in quick succession, and at the twenty minute mark the VRU had skipped away to a 9 – 3 lead.
However, Country held their composure and at the twenty second minute mark winger Rhys Peters charged onto a sensational pass from fullback Pratik Ahuja to race thirty metres to score a great try which was converted by Daniel Damen, and the NRMA Country Colts had regained the lead 10 - 9.
In the thirtieth minute Country were awarded a penalty forty metres out and elected to take the scrum, which resulted in centre Tarpaki Rahui splinting the opposition wide open to cross for a try, which was again converted by Daniel Damen to see the score climb to 17 - 9.
The remainder of the half was very even, and with no addition to the score the NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts went to the half time break leading 17 – 9.
VRU came out in the second half with renewed vigour, and in the forty first minute caught the Country defence napping and crossed for a soft unconverted try which closed Country’s lead to 17 – 14.
Country came back strongly by attacking with sweeping backline movements, one of which resulted in winger Rhys Peters out sprinting the defence to score an unconverted try to increase the lead to 22 – 14.
The Vic’s then launched a series of strong attacks which had the Country Colts pinned in their twenty two and having to defend strongly.
Country weathered the onslaught and were able to breakout, and after working play into the VRU twenty two they were awarded a penalty in the fifty third minute from which a penalty goal was kicked by Daniel Damen to take Country out to a 25 – 14 lead.
The VRU team rallied and again lay siege to Country’s line, and after ten minutes of continuous attack they elected to take a tap from a penalty and drove over for an unconverted try to close the score line to 25 – 19 with five minutes left on the clock.
With the siren about to sound Country launched an attack, which saw the ball kicked into the VRU in-goal and a race ensued between players, with a penalty being awarded to Country when one of their players were held back by a defender. A penalty goal was kicked by Daniel Damen to round off the final score as 28 – 19.
Players to standout were Player’s Player Rhys Peters (wing), Jack Barker (No 8), Chris Nagy (Lock), Matt Fairburn (Prop) and Grant Knight (Five Eight).
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts’ next match will be on Sunday, 19 May 2013 against the ACT Colts in Wollongong.
NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts – 28
Rhys Peters 2 & Tarpaki Rahui Tries
Daniel Damen 3 Penalty Goals & 2 Conversions
VRU Colts XV – 19
2 Tries & 3 Penalty Goals
Cockatoo Colts in First Up Win
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts have opened their 2013 representative program with a hard fought victory over the VRU Colts Development XV at Moorabbin.
In very cold, wet and windy conditions the young Cockatoos had to overcome a spirited VRU team and a lopsided penalty count to register a strong 29 – 10 win.
The Referees whistle signalled the kick off and the opening of the skies, and steady rain continued throughout the duration of the match, which made handling and ball control very difficult.
After conceding an early three point lead the Cockatoo Colts went on the attack and set up camp in the VRU’s twenty two, and after several near misses prop Blake Walsh powered over in the twelfth minute for a converted try to take a 7 – 3 lead.
The next ten minutes saw the Country boys dominate the play and field position, but it wasn’t until a well executed blindside raid from a scrum win saw winger Rhys Peters make a side stepping run to score an unconverted try to take the score out to 12 – 3.
From the restart the VRU gained possession, and after going close on several occasions a forward drive resulted in a converted try being scored next to the posts to close the score line to 12 – 10.
Once again the Cockatoo Colts went on the attack, but a combination of strong defence and poor options denied any addition to the score until fullback Pratik Ahuja finished off a sweeping counter attack to score in the corner to make the half time score 17 – 10 to the NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts.
The continuing rain and wind made conditions deteriorate and the second half became an arm wrestle, with a string of penalties to the home side making things very hard for the Cockatoo Colts.
Ten minutes into the half the Colts were rewarded with a try to winger Jake Hartmann who was on hand to finish off a series of strong drives to increase the lead to 22 – 10.
From this point on the match became a war of attrition, with the wet and slippy conditions having a major bearing on the ability of the players to control the ball. Players became frustrated and the penalty count continued to mount, until the Referee lost his patience and sent a player from each team to the sin bin.
The final score of the match came with five minutes left on the clock when No 8 and Man of the Match Jack Barker finishing off a drive from a line out win to score a converted try to round off the score at 29 – 10.
Standout players for the NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts in a strong team performance were No 8 Jack Barker, Prop Blake Walsh, Flanker Andrew Boyce, Halfback Stuart McVicar and Lock Chris Nagy.
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts will now play the VRU Colts in the curtain raiser to the Rebels v Chiefs SupeRugby match at AAMI Park at 5.00pm on Friday, 3 May 2013.
NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts – 29
Pratik Adjura, Jack Barker, Jake Hartmann, Rhys Peters & Blake Walsh Tries
Pratik Adjura & Daniel Damen Goals
VRU Development XV – 10
All NSW Country Rugby Union news, representative results and zone results are available on www.nswcountryrugby.com.au
Cockatoo Colts Fly South
The NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts head south to Melbourne to take on the best of the Victorian Rugby Union Colts in a two match series on Wednesday (1/5) and Friday (3/5).
The two matches against the VRU teams will see the NRMA Cockatoo Colts line up against a VRU Colts Development XV on Wednesday night at Moorabbin Rugby Club, and then take on the VRU Colts XV on Friday night at AAMI Park.
Friday night’s match will be played as a curtain raiser to the Rebels v Chiefs SupeRugby match, and will be a once in a life time opportunity for many of the players to participate in a match played at a premier sporting venue.
Last time the Cockatoo Colts toured to the southern state they were defeated in the dying moments of the main match of the tour, and they will be out to set the record straight this year.
Since the inception of the Rebels, the VRU domestic competition has improved dramatically, and their respective representative teams are now very competitive and very hard to beat, especially at home.
NRMA Cockatoo Colts Coach Matt Thomas is very aware of the dangers associated in under estimating the VRU teams, as they will be out to impress, especially in front of their home crowds.
The Country team has had a strong preparation, with the players all competing at the Country Championships and then participating at a training camp which has them primed for strong showings in the VRU matches.
Thomas believes this year’s NRMA NSW Country Cockatoo Colts is one of the strongest Colts team he has seen for several years, with the team possessing power, pace, size and skill right across the park.
Wednesday night’s match kicks off at 7.00pm, while Friday night’s match kicks off at 5.00pm.