The Boorowa Rovers may have lost their first game of the season on Saturday but they didn’t lose any supporters going down bravely by 24-12 against the Harden Hawks at Harden.
In their toughest assignment to date, the Rovers were missing several key players forcing a number of positional changes to the team from recent weeks.
However those players who came into the line up, certainly held their own emphasising the depth the Rovers have in the squad.
Down 12-0 early on, the visitors showed great resilience to give the Hawks a scare in the second half.
Harden had the Rovers on the backfoot after just four minutes when they crossed out wide with a nice pick up from their winger.
Boorowa launched a promising attack on the back of big runs from Tom Carnell and Murray Armour.
A relieving penalty to Harden saw them put together a raid leading to centre Leti Tago crossing for the Hawks second try after ten minutes.
Just three minutes later, Harden were in again and if it wasn’t for some wide conversions the scoreboard would have been ticking at a point a minute.
To their credit, the Rovers regained composure to keep the Hawks scoreless for the rest of the half.
Boorowa added their own first four pointer just six minutes from half time when centre Trent Crawford capitalised on a good backline movement to score out wide.
It was unconverted but the Rovers were well and truly back in the contest.
Just two minutes from the break, the match threatened to erupt with both forward packs wrestling for the advantage.
The sin bin came into play for both teams as Jack Thom for Boorowa and 150 gamer, Luke Brown for Harden, were sent for ten minutes and no doubt got first choice of the halftime oranges.
A penalty right on halftime to the Rovers saw them reduce the deficit to just 12-6 and it was anybody’s game.
With both teams down to twelve men for the opening minutes of the second half, both sides look to exploit the gaps.
Just three minutes in, it was Boorowa hooker Josh Carmody who darted over to score from close range.
He converted his own try to lock it all up at 12-12.
After eleven minutes, Harden crossed for their fourth try after some poor defence out wide taking the score to 18-12.
Both sides had their attacking opportunities in the next quarter of the game with Boorowa almost scoring just five minutes from full time off a kick through.
Harden sealed the game just two minutes from time scoring under the posts and taking the margin out to 12 and a final score of 24-12 to the Hawks.
For the Rovers, Josh Carmody and Tom Carnell led the way for the forwards picking up three points each.
They were well supported by Mitch Clarke picking up two points and Alex Stewart who played strongly for one point.
Daniel Roberts was again solid in his performance earning the players player award.
In the league tag, a red hot Harden Hawkettes team defeated the Roverettes 30-0 after leading by 16-0 at halftime.
The Roverettes were never really allowed into the game and a crucial runaway try on the stroke of halftime for Harden all but killed off a second half revival.
For the Roverettes, Georgia Murray had a great game to get three points, Jessie Abnett had a solid game to get two points and Mackella Pye picked up the one points.
Georgia Murray was also voted players’ player.
In the youth league, the combined Boorowa/Harden team goes from strength to strength, this time putting the cleaners through Tuggeranong by 52-6.
The win puts the team in second spot which is a great effort so early in the season.
Harden/Boorowa scorers were B Davis 5, N Stephens 2, J Hinds 1, J Halls 1 and B Halls 1 try, R Bolger 6 goals.
In other George Tooke Shield results Binalong 24 overcame a freezing Friday night to defeat Gunning 10.
The other game played on the weekend saw Crookwell 32 beat Bungendore 16.
In other results of the league tag on the weekend Gunning 22 beat Binalong 2 and Bungendore 26 beat Crookwell 12.
This week will see the following clashes in both the George Tooke and League Tag:
North Canberra will host Boorowa, ADFA are at home against Binalong, Bungendore host UC Grizzlies whilst Gunning are at home to the Harden Hawks.
Crookwell have the bye.
Both Boorowa sides will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Jamison Oval in Canberra this Saturday to play North Canberra.
The Roverettes start at 1.30pm whilst the Rovers kick off at 2.45.
Meanwhile the Youth league team travel to Bungendore for an 11.40am start against the Tigers.
The Rovers will face their second big test in a week against Premiership contenders, the Bears who so far remain unbeaten in 2018.
Their defence is almost fortress like conceding just 26 points in five games.
Meanwhile their attack has been hot too averaging 40 plus points a game.
The Rovers won’t be daunted by these stats knowing the are more than capable of matching the Bears on their day.
With the return of a couple of players and a more settled line up, Boorowa will be confident.
Half Steven Death will remain on the injured list for one more week nursing a hamstring complaint.
Saturday week will see a massive day for the club at the Boorowa Showground when all three teams will be in action with the youth league commencing at noon.
More on these games next week but why not have an outing to the big smoke to watch our teams go around at Jamison Oval in Canberra this Saturday.