Cockatoos Rounded Up by Heelers Heading Detail
Cockatoos Rounded Up by Heelers
The GrainCorp NSW Country Cockatoos five year dominance over the GrainCorp Qld Country Heelers has come to an end following their 20 – 15 loss on Saturday.
The annual match was played as the main curtain raiser to the Reds v Waratahs SupeRugby fixture at SunCorp Stadium in Queensland on Saturday, 23 April 2011.
In a defensive orientated match the Heelers went on the front foot from the kick off and were intent on out muscling the Cockatoos at the breakdown, which had the effect of slowing down the flow of clean ball to the Cockatoos attacking backline.
The Cockatoos cause wasn’t helped with the withdrawal of Hooker Tala Vea and Winger Chris Jack who were both ruled out during the pre-match team warmer up.
After dominating field position from the kick off, the Heelers kicked a penalty goal in the eighth minute to take a 3 nil lead, a lead which they never relinquished for the remainder of the match.
The Cockatoos evened up the score two minutes later when David Kennedy kicked a penalty goal, but the restart once again had the Heelers mounting pressure which again had the Cockatoos on the back foot in their own half.
Efforts by the Cockatoos to truck the ball out of their half were met by physical Heelers defence, which resulted in indecision creeping into the Cockatoos play, and the Heelers capitalised by powering over for a converted try in the twentieth minute to extend their lead to 10 – 3.
Another David Kennedy penalty goal closed the gap to 10 – 6 in the twenty sixth minute, but this was negated when the Heelers extend their lead to 13 – 6 with a penalty goal four minutes later.
The final ten minutes of the half was basically played in the Heelers twenty two, but indecision by the Cockatoos in attack and last ditch defence by the Heelers saw the Cockatoos only register three points via a David Kennedy penalty goal to see the Heelers go to the half time break leading 13 – 9.
The second half was dominated by the Cockatoos, with the score-line closed to 13 – 12 in the forty fifth minute when David Kennedy landed his fourth penalty goal. The Cockatoos continued to attack but time after time wrong options were taken and numerous try scoring opportunities went begging and the Heelers were able to scramble out of trouble.
With the match entering the last quarter the Heelers worked play into the Cockatoos twenty two, and after mounting a series of raids they were rewarded with a converted try to take their lead out to 20 – 12.
David Kennedy closed the gap to 20 – 15 with ten minutes to go with his fifth penalty goal, but that was as close as the Cockatoos got, as they continued to falter in attack as had been the case for the majority of the match.
Best players for the Cockatoos in a disappointing performance were Centre Shamus Lautimi, Flanker Ben Colley and Lock Lachlan Brown.
GrainCorp Qld Country Heelers 20 (2 Tries, 2 Penalty Goals & 2 Conversions)
GrainCorp NSW Country Cockatoos 15 (David Kennedy 5 Penalty Goals)
Action Photos above - Courtesy of www.sportography.com.au
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