In atrocious conditions last Saturday, both senior league games produced just a combined total of 28 points all day, as players battled rain, wind, and a very wet playing surface. The Rovers went down to Harden by 12-6 in a real arm wrestle whilst the Roverette's were brave in their loss to Harden by 10-0.
Whilst the day wasn't a success on the field for the locals, it was off it, with the holding of the annual charity day. Well over $3000 was raised through the gate for the appeal to assist Nathan Stapleton and family. Nathan suffered an horrific injury playing for the Boorowa Goldies several weeks ago and both the rugby league and union clubs combined to raise funds last weekend for the cause.
The Rovers ran into the wind in the first half and were put under relentless pressure from the Harden attack. Harden threatened to score on numerous occasions and forced Boorowa to Drop Out from under their sticks several times in the opening stanza. It was former Rover Austin Power who broke the deadlock when he scored out wide after twenty-three minutes. A fine conversion by the visitors saw Harden take a 6-0 lead that remained until halftime, despite the constant barrage from the Hawks. Although down at halftime it was a good effort by Boorowa running into the stiff breeze.
It didn't take long after halftime for Boorowa to level the scores when a rampaging Matt Carnell went over for the locals. Nick Stephens converted for a 6-6 score line. The game then became a battle of attrition as both sides struggled for field possession. With conditions worsening, ball control was the key. With twelve minutes left, Harden crashed over for their second try to make it 12-6. From the ensuing kickoff, Harden made what could have been a costly fumble, however the Rovers couldn't make the Hawks pay the ultimate price. With time running out, Boorowa attacked the Harden line with plenty of vigor, but the Hawks held firm to hang on for victory by 12-6. Considering the conditions, it wasn't a bad contest, and these two sides may well cross paths in a few weeks' time.
The Rovers could take plenty of positives out of the game despite the loss. Their goal line defense was great which may well have seen several more tries scored. Nick Stephens was brilliant at fullback saving a couple of almost certain tries, but he had plenty of mates who chipped in with some great defense. The Rovers now have just three more games left in the season with a bye this week. It's a tough run home against Cootamundra, Crookwell and North Canberra, all of which are in a dog fight for the semis. The Rovers are capable of beating all of these teams and their destiny is still in their own hands. With three weeks off due to two consecutive byes, they will regroup, nurse a few nagging injuries and come out firing at the back end of the season.
In other George Tooke Shield games, Cootamundra 70 trounced Boomanulla 12, Bungendore 28 beat North Canberra 6 and Crookwell 36 were too good for UC Stars 10. Binalong had the bye.
This weeks games sees Binalong clash with UC Stars, Boomanulla host North Canberra, Cootamundra are at home against Harden and Crookwell play Bungendore. The Rovers have the bye.
The best and fairest points went to Matt Carnell with three points after having another sensational game terrorizing the Harden Forward pack. Mr consistent, Nick Stephens was again brilliant at fullback whilst Alex Stewart made good yards every time he touch the ball.
The players player went to Nick Stephens.
The Roverettes had a tough day too going down 10-0 to the undefeated Harden Hawkettes. Boorowa's defensive effort was as good as any seen since they entered the competition several seasons ago. The gap between these sides has closed in recent times and Boorowa definitely pose the biggest threat to the Harden jugger naught.
The game didn't start that well for Boorowa with a few early errors. Harden scored a fifty meter try after just eight minutes for a 4-0 lead. Midway through the first half, Rachel Corkery made an intercept and looked headed for the try line only for the attack to be halted. Harden weren't afraid to throw the ball wide despite the bad weather which paid dividends shortly before the break with a good backline try.
In the second half, Boorowa showed tremendous resilience against the unforgiving Harden attack. Time after time, Boorowa thwarted the Harden runners. Unfortunately, Harden gave the Boorowa attack very little latitude and a scoreless second half saw the final score stay at 10-0. It has been a long time since Harden have been restricted to such a low scoring match.
For the Roverettes, Rachel Corkery played her best game of the year to get three points, Cherrae Smith was impressive again getting two points along with Grace Barker, whilst Imogen Pye look threatening in attack all day in tough conditions getting one point. The player's player was Rachel Corkery. This team will play semi final football and should take a lot out of this game proving they can match the best in the competition
In other league tag games, Binalong 12 beat Gunning 4, Crookwell 8 defeated UC Stars 0, Bungendore 28 defeated North Canberra 12 and Cootamundra had the bye.
Whilst the Rovers have a bye on Saturday, the Roverettes head to Gunning to take on the Gunning Rooettes. They should win comfortably but no doubt coach Byron Campbell will want to keep the side firing as the big games approach
In other league tag games this coming weekend, Cootamundra play Harden, Binalong host the UC Stars, Crookwell are at home against Bungendore and North Canberra have the bye.
The following week on July 16, there will be a general bye which was put in place to allow any deferred games to be played. On July 23, we will see both Boorowa teams play their last game of the regular season against Cootamundra.
Thanks again to all those who have supported the appeal for Nathan Stapleton and family. It was great to see the Rugby and League clubs' band together on this important day and fans of both codes were treated to some good local footy and a great day out.
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