Fast-starting Wattles salute

Wattles A Grade skipper Nick Van Der Poel led from the front against Goondiwindi in Clifton on Saturday. (Image: courtesy of JD Sporting Photography)

By Glyn Rees

Left wing finisher Mitch Bourke broke down the Boars front door in just the eighth minute of play to set Wattles on the way to a 36-22 win over Goondiwindi in their TRL match at Goondiwindi’s Gilbert Oval on Saturday evening.

The visitors led 28 – nil lead by the 28th minute of play before the Boars, never to be taken for granted on home turf, fought back to trail 28 – 10 at the break.

Bourke snatched Wattles opening two tries in the space of thirteen minutes, while three-quarter partner Matt Christensen also collected a try double.

A league familiarization to Goondiwindi can never be taken lightly, regardless of differences of premiership ladder standings.

Gilbert Oval feeds the Boars spirit, and while it took a good half hour to kick in on Saturday, when it did, they made up significant lost ground on the Warriors eventually crossing for five touchdowns to Wattles seven.

The Warriors headed west without some key players, including playmaker Matt Duggan.

The match saw new faces back-rower Domenic Whittingham and five-eight Lachlan Watt run on in impressive green and gold debuts.

Australian touch football representative Watt was one to shine in the result, joining Whittingham, winger Bourke and hooker Tom Hatch as key contributors.

A sight for Wattles loyal sore eyes, especially coach Travis Burns was to see his skipper Ty Gardner start off the bench after a four-week injury spell, and score his team’s final try.

Along with winger Bourke’s contribution to Wattles first half rampage that saw them score at a point a minute for the opening 28 minutes, was tries by front-row book end Cooper Tate-Roche, centre Christensen and Watt who was partnering Brayden Paix in the halves.

It took the Boars until the 34th minute to find the try line to trail 28 – 4 after centre Samukie Gaidan sailed over, and lit the wick for the home side to cross for another three unanswered tries by Jarrod Dwyer, Michael Hazard and Damon Bulmer reducing Wattles advantage to 28 – 18.

Four-pointers by Christensen and Gardner extended Wattles lead to 36 – 18, before home side three-quarter Dwyer crossed in the final minute of play.

Coach Burns was more than encouraged with his team’s performance, especially coming into this Saturday evening’s key Round 10 clash with the Dalby Diehards.

After the win over Goondiwindi, Burns has some selection headaches given the return this week of a number of key performers from the injury list.

Aside from vital premiership points, as second on the ladder Dalby and third placed Wattles grapple for top end places, the Dalby contest will see the Rod Frahm Memorial Cup on offer.

A Wattles club Life Member and Clifton business identity, Rod Frahm also shared a close association with the Dalby area rural industry, the Cup named in his honour first contested in 2007.

Wattles 36 (Mitch Bourke 2, Matthew Christensen 2, Cooper Tate-Roche, Lachlan Watt, Ty Gardner tries: Brayden Paix 4 goals) defeated Goondiwindi 22.

Reserve Grade

Wattles 38 (Tom Duggan 2, Tim Exelby, Isaac Leach, Zac Stevens, Dale McAntee, Garth Lonergan tries; Ben Comerford 4, Alex Morris goals) defeated Goondiwindi 16.

Under 19

Wattles Under 19’s enjoyed a bye round on Saturday, given Goondiwindi aren’t fielding an Under 19 team in 2024.

Toowoomba Rugby League Round 10

Saturday 15-06-2024

Wattles Warriors v Dalby Diehards

Platz Oval, Clifton

Under 19 – 3.30 pm

Reserve Grade – 5 pm

A Grade – 6.30 pm