Cowboys tighten grip on competition lead

Cowboys coach Col Speed.

By Tania Phillips

Warwick Cowboys are now three points clear of their nearest rival on the top of the Toowoomba Rugby League competition ladder after a gutsy 18-10 victory over Gatton at Cahill Sporting Complex on Sunday afternoon.

Cowboys had to come from behind in a top of the table clash that was dominated by solid defence on both sides.

One game off the halfway point in the season, the win puts the Cowboys on 16 points with a differential of 202 – three points ahead of Gatton with 13 points and a differential 163 and Wattles and Dalby (their opponents this weekend) on 11.

However, Cowboys coach Col Speed said the team didn’t’ have it all there own way on Sunday afternoon.

“It was a tough one,” he said.

“Once again we started off a little bit, it’s catch 22 – I don’t know whether to give the opposition the rap or we started off a little bit sluggish. Our starts probably weren’t ideal again we were down six-nil in the first five to seven minutes and then we got it locked back up.

“We went into the breakup 14-10 and we scored another try midway through the second half and it stayed at 18-10 for about 20-25 minutes, it was just unbelievable defence from our guys but we’ve just got to improve the turn over of ball or the possession we’re giving to the opposition particularly in our own end.

“The completion rate in the first half was probably only about 60 percent so we’ve got to work on that. While we had an eight-point difference, we probably would have liked to put another try on which is a key area we’ve got to improve but the other thing is not to put ourselves in a position where we’re draining so much energy out of ourselves by defending in back-to-back sets. But we are priding ourselves on our defence at the moment and being there for each other which seems to be working.”

While most of the games were played in heavy rain on Saturday, Speed said the Cowboys were fortunate to play on the Sunday.

“It wasn’t as bad as other places, it was wet under foot and it was definitely not the usual fast-track,” he said.

“It was a better day to play for sure because I went out to Dalby to watch them and that was horrendous conditions.”

The trip was a fact finding mission for Speed with the Cowboys back home on Sunday taking on Dalby at 2.30pm at Father Rangers Oval.

“They’ll be a handy side,” he said playing his cards close to his chest.

Round 8: Cowboys d Gatton 18-10: Tries Cowboys: Joseph Vite 9th, Jake Speed 26th, Nicholas Chapman 32th, Jake Speed 60; Conversions: Caleb Murphy 1.

Gatton: Damien Burrows 4th, Luke Self 20; Conversions: Leonard Burns 1.

Reserve grade: Cowboys d Gatton 20-12.