After a scrappy win against Sawtell at home on the 18th the Bowra under 14 boy's came out and played some of their best footy against the Smithtown Tigers in another home game. Missing a few of their key players to injury and illness the boys stood up and performed exceptionally.
Smithtown tackled well for the opening 2 sets of the game, and when Flynn Watts crossed for his first of 3 tries from a fluent back line movement in the third set, everyone sensed a big score coming. Gordon Moore's work rate in defence was impressive as usual, but stepped it up in attack. Running hard and straight he busted the Smithtown line on several occasions, which produced two tries for him and provided several brilliant off loads for supporting players. Lachlan Jones picked off one of Gordon's off loads and showed an unusual turn of speed and coordination to sprint 45m and hold the ball to score under the posts. Jack Keogh gave his Smithtown school mates a lesson in how to run the ball up by making huge meters every time he touched the ball. Despite the niggling attention Jack received in the tackles he just served footy up to the Smithtown boys. Unable to frustrate Jack with his new cool head "play footy" approach, two of his Smithtown school mates lashed out, and were sent to detention. Strong hard straight runs from all the forwards compressed the Smithtown defensive line and allowed room for some great draw and pass tries from the Bowra backline. The Bowra boy's superior ball security, defence and completion rate meant they dominated possession for the entire game. Excellent ball movement and poor scrambling defence from Smithtown allowed the Bowra boys to have a day out scoring tries.
The referee called the game before full time through the ruthless dedication, skill and teamwork of Bowra in the 56 to 4 score line. Tries went to Calijah Craig, Layne Rouse, and Jack Keogh. Gordon Moore and Jacob Humphries 2 tries a piece and 3 tries to the flying Flynn Watts. Jacob also kicked 6 goals.
With a massive game the following week against arch nemesis Woopi, Coach Luke Bateman and assistant coach R J Donavon were nervous boys. Woopi have been the dominant side in the competition for years, and beat the boys in the 2013 grand final.
Before the boys were to face off against Woopi they had to play Heathcote high school in a Buckley shield clash in Sydney on Tuesday, and three rugby union games on Thursday. Having star player Ulysses Roberts break his collar bone in a union game Bato had his fingers crossed for no further injuries.
It was not to be, during one of his legendary hard straight runs Calijah rolled his ankle in a tackle and was carried from the field, joining a growing injury list.
Come game day against the Woolgoolga Sea Horses Calijah joined Ulysses on the cheer squad, while Rooster had declared himself fit two weeks before Doctors orders he was keen to get amongst it. Fitzy was back, and the boot of many points Bruno was also back after a virus kept him out of the Smithtown game and he too was keen to make an impact.
From the kick off it looked that it was going to be a tough match with both sides not giving an inch. A flinging tackle within the first five minutes saw Bruno's head hit the ground, and apparently setting off the second earth quake in Queensland, and also resulting in a minor concussion. With Bruno off it was up to Bumps Junior to take on the kicking duties again, and he kicked four from four in a fine display which included a crucial penalty goal.
Skipper Lachlan Jones stepped up to the plate after being involved a head clash on Thursday during the rugby union, and with facial swelling improving his looks he took the field against Mums wishes. Unfortunately during one of his meter making runs from dummy half Lachlan broke his arm in a big contact tackle and will join the increasing cheer leader bench. Lachlan's captaincy and ball delivery from dummy half, and his ability to take charge and do what needs to be done will be missed during the final series. We all hope you make a speedy recovery mate and are available for the grand final if the boys make it. You will be an ugly cheer leader please don't wear speedo's or bring pom poms.
With Bowra leading 12-0 coming into half time with tries to Gordon Moore and Rhino Atkins, some ineffective defence along the edges saw Woopi cross for their first try promoting the score to 12-4 at half time. Another try to Woopi after half time saw the score to 12 – 10. With Bowra needing to score next Kane Watson completely fooled the Woopi defence to cross for a try from dummy half, and with the conversion and a penalty goal for junior Bumps Bowra was out to a 20-10 lead, and looked like they may be able to defend it. Some further feeble defence down the edges saw Woopi score two more tries and the final one just before the full time bell, and with the kick to come after the bell to level the scores the Woopi kicker missed the goal to give the Bowra boys a hard fought and costly win.
Great hit ups from Gordon, Buster, Jack, Bumps and some good running from Fergo displayed the commitment of the forward pack throughout the game. The organisation and short kicking game from Rooster was back showing what he can do, and his halves partner Rhino regularly sliced through the defence making handy meters.
Some great tackling from the centres Jasper and Flynn held Woopi back and they also contributed some valuable meters from the back line raids. If this team can sort out the defence on the edges, unite under pressure and continue to play as a team they will become the dominant force.
Congratulations to the Coaching and training staff on shaping these boys into the team they are today. Enjoy the win boys and use the confidence from the Woopi win to become the best you can be.