THE United Fitness Bega Roosters scored three from four against Cooma on Sunday, but the Fillies have shaken up the league-tag contest overcoming the Bega Chicks 26-0.
The Chicks were in for a tough day as drizzle at the Cooma Showground created slippery conditions.
Roosters president Garry Arkin said the Fillies got the early jump.
“First half tries from Fillies Meg Bracher and Kristy Nichols put the home side in front 10-0 at the break,” Arkin said.
It was an unfortunate start for the Chicks in the second half as Cooma’s Maree Ingram found some space to score.
Shortly after Bracher completed her double under the posts.
Conversions by Ingram put the Fillies ahead 20-0.
Hayley Jessop and Tegan Mundy were hard done by after a duo effort left them wanting just short of the line.
In the final minutes of the game, the Chicks paid for loose handling as Fillie Jade Lee swooped on a ground ball, then raced under the posts for Cooma to bag the game 26-0.
The two headline teams will meet again in a fortnight with momentum favouring the Cooma squad.
However, Bega’s three other squads were able to pick up wins in their contests with the Stallions.
The first grade Roosters opened the account early when prop Jarrod Tamatea crashed over just five minutes in to play.
Both squads knuckled down as rain increased and conditions were more trying than before.
“Cooma dominated the game territorially and applied plenty of pressure inside Bega’s quarter,” Arkin said.
Three consecutive sets inside the Roosters’ 20 paid off for the Stallions.
“Big back-rower Todd Williams was able to crash his way next to the uprights for the Cooma side to
Cooma was back on the offensive after a handling error, but when the Roosters regained possession the Stallions faltered.
“Luke Dowdle made them pay when he charged the line to cross for a determined try,” Arkin said.
Unfortunately the Roosters missed an opportunity just before the break as captain-coach Ryan Apps couldn’t hold an offload from Grant Jessop.
However, the visiting Roosters took hold in the second half with Adam Blacka posting an early try.
A sideline conversion by Blake Robinson opened a 14-6 lead.
Blacka made it a double when he landed next to the posts and Bega looked secure at 20-6.
“The home side rallied and quick tries to Williams and Khouri saw the Stallions right back in the contest.”
Apps was delighted to bag the win with the Roosters now getting a two-week break before the major semi-final against Moruya.
In the reserve grade clash it was the Roosters opening the scoring again.
“Bega struck first, finding plenty of room up the Cooma middle in the early stage of the contest for [Craig] Dixon to score,” Arkin said.
However, the lead was short -lived.
“Cooma ground their way back into the match with two soft tries up the beg addle to lead 12-4.”
It was coach Steven Luff opening up the chances.
“Steven Luff found a chink in the Cooma defence for Dixon to post his second try of the game.”
Cody Hazelgrove-Danvers cleared a penalty goal and the deficit was reduced to two.
In the second half it was a power-struggle from the outset as the forward packs clashed.
“Bega’s forwards were led by Shaun Bateman while Wayne Northey was proving a handful for the Cooma side,” Arkin said.
“The Roosters’ forwards were laying the platform and getting on top of their Cooma counterparts with Peter Curtis, Bateman and Chris Halligan hammering forward in the trying conditions.”
A dropped-kick saw Dixon pick up a hat-trick for the day and put bega ahead 16-12.
A strong run from Halligan set up an opportunity in the dying stages.
Luff then offloaded to the barn-storming Dixon who posted his fourth out wide with just two minutes left to play.
“We showed a lot of fight today and our forwards were the ones who showed the way,” delighted captain-coach Steven Luff said.
Meanwhile, it was a “costly” win for the Roosters’ under 18s as young gun Declan Bower-Scott was injured and Michael Barnden was sent from the field.
Arkin said it was “uncharacteristic play” from the under 18s as the Cooma Colts edged ahead in the first half.
Despite some handling errors impacting the game, the Roosters returned strongly in the second half.
Bega pulled ahead 20-10, but were a player short after Barnden was sent off.
“Bega officials are keen to study the video of the incident, as barnden did not throw a punch in an incident, which followed the lifting of a Bega player in a tackle,” Arkin said.
Unfortunately the Roosters could pay the price for the unbeaten record.
“Bower-Scott is almost certain to miss the final series which is a blow to the young Roosters line-up,” Arkin said.