Cowboys on top in season opener

Cowboys and Wattles will meet in all three grades this weekend.

By Tania Phillips

It may only be the second week of the competition but Warwick Cowboys are set for a top of the table clash with Wattle-Warriors in this weekends Toowoomba Rugby League Hutchison Builders Men’s A grade game at Father Ranger Oval at the weekend.

Both teams had big first up wins in a round that saw two game postponed due to the heavy rain.

The Cowboys travelled to Newtown’s Jack Martin Centre where they defeated the home team in tough, muddy conditions 48-14 after conceding the first points of the game.

Despite the slow start Cowboys coach Col Speed, a former Newton coach, was more than happy with his side’s first game of the season.

“They were pretty ordinary conditions,” Speed laughed.

“It probably took a couple of opportunities that we could have captalised on. The completion rate went out the back door.

“We were trying a bit too hard in certain areas but then once we realised we needed to be a bit more patient and earn the right to get down there, then we captilized on it which was good. The forwards were excellent.

“It was nice to get out on the paddock, I feel for the other teams that didn’t play. We’re just glad and appreciative that Newtown went ahead with the game.”

It was a return home of sorts for Speed who coached the Newtown Bluebags at the start of his career before moving away and more recently before coming to the Cowboys. The club had used their opening round as the “Old boys” reunion day with many past players their to watch.

The Bluebags faithful had plenty to cheer early on when Mark Jameson followed a pinpoint bomb from five eight Lachlan Watt to put the first points the board in a solid early display.

Warwick’s hooker Hayden Ensby got his side on the board 6-4 before Newtown’s Watt scored an individual try to put his side back in front in the 27th minute 8-6. But Warwick settled scoring two quick tries to lead 16-8 at halftime.

The Cowboys lifted in the second half led by player of the match Nick Carrie, centre Joe Vite, who scored two tries and fullback Nick Chapman.

“Hayden Ensby was really good for us in the middle at hooker, then he moved to lock, he tied on the players player points with Nick Pails the front rower who is improving each week, he gave us plenty of go-forward and plenty of sting in the middle with his defence,” he said.

“Joseph Vite he was quite damaging on the edges when he got some early ball and opportunities and Nick Carrie coming back into the halves, he ended up getting the TRL player of the match. He had an outstanding performance.

“It was a good solid start for those who weren’t in the know, I guess when you’re not completing you’re also trying if that makes sense. Sometime you’re making errors having a go but credit to the two young halves Caleb Murphy and Nick Carrie they didn’t go into their shells, they got us back with their game management, got us back where we needed to be. They’ll learn from that.”

This weekend they will take on Wattles in what is expected to be a tough match.

“It’s always a good clash, local clash they took care of Oakey pretty convincingly, they’ll be pretty confident with the team they’ve got and they way they performed but we’ve learned a lot from the Barrett Shield and while we went up another gear against Newtown we need to go up another cog,” he said adding though that he had been more than happy with the teams defence.

Another promising sign for the Cowboys was the performance of the reserve grade 32-0.

The Under 19s for both clubs will make their first appearance this week – with neither Newtown or Oakey fielding the youngest side this year.

In other games Dalby Diehards beat Pittswoth Danes 36-32, Toowoomba Brothers beat Southern Suburbs Tigers 36-24. The games between the Highfield Eagles v Toowoomba Valleys and Gatton Hawks v Goondiwindi Boars were postponed.