Parkes Boars have opened their New Holland Agriculture Cup account with a double header win against rivals Dubbo Rhinos.
The crowd gathered at Northparkes Oval to watch three great country rugby games, in very warm conditions.
First up round one of the women’s competition saw West Wyalong face off against Dubbo Rhinos. The match was strongly contested across the park but in the end the superior speed and ball skills of the West Wyalong ladies saw them take the match.
Boars second grade, under the coaching of Ethan Kosef, ran a strong team on to face the Rhinos. The challenge this year was to start strong and the team didn’t disappoint. First points were on the board within five minutes when fullback Mitch Hutchings crossed for the first of his three tries. Not happy with that, he kicked the conversion to give Parkes the lead.
Ben Rathbone made a welcome return to the team and steadied the attack playing at tight head prop. Rathbone’s defence on the line was instrumental in keeping Rhinos scoreless for the match.
Young players Brad Burrell and Jonah Ruzgas worked hard to cement their positions in the team.
Final score Parkes 33 (Hutchings 3 tries, 3 conversions; Bateson 1 try, 1 conversion; Waititi 1 try) d Dubbo 0. 3 pts and players player to Mitch Hutchings, 2 pts to Toby Tanks and 1 to Jake Hodge.
First grade were missing a few players who were unavailable for this match however Coach Joshua Miles had a full fresh team to start.
Rhinos looked strong with a mix of well know and new faces taking the ramp. First points on the board went to Rhinos when a Boars handling error gave Rhinos a scrum feed on the 15m. Quick hands with a wide pass put the winger over. The Boars answered back when Ben Ryan came from the back of the scrum to cross and even the scores. Rodgers had left his kicking boots at home.
Sam Davis, in his first year with the seniors, flew up the wing to score wide from a well-placed pass from Jarrod Westcott. Eight minutes later Davis lands another try from a clean intercept running 15m through the defence to ground the ball on the wing.
The Boars scrum were dominant with the combined strength of the Boars front row: Dylan Hood, Karl Oliver and Keiren Mattocks holding well. Campbell Earsman was strong in the line outs and Toby Baigent just worked all match. A penalty scrum to Parkes on the 15m saw Ben Ryan again forces his way across the line taking the half time score to 22-5.
Two things happened at half time Rodgers changed his boots and the Rhinos winger found a new gear.
Rodgers gathered the ball in mid field and zig-zagged through the defence to plant it under the posts. He converted his own. The Boars had a short nap on field as the Rhinos responded with a stolen ball and try to their winger. When Rhinos stole the ball a second time and bolted 40m to score, the Boars woke up. But again Rhinos grabbed a ball this time placing it under the posts with the conversion good the lead was reduced to 5 points with 10 minutes to go. The tempo of the game increased and tempers started to flair. The Boars tenacity was awarded when Rodgers successfully landed 3 penalty goals. Just when we thought the game was at and end Rodgers again swoops on the ball and crosses under the posts – undefended then sealed the match with a conversion.
Boars took the match 43-22 (Tries: Rodgers 2, Ryan 2, Davis 2, Conversions: Rodgers 2, Goals: Rodgers 3) 3 pts to Lloyd Rodgers, 2 pts Jarrod Westcott, 1 pt Ben Ryan and Sam Davis. Players player and winner of the Old Boys Jersey went to Sam Davis on debut.
The 2018 New Holland Agriculture player of the day was awarded to Mitch Hutchings from Boars second grade.
A vote of thanks to the referees Chris Reynolds (2nds) and Paul Hannock (1sts) for recognising the very hot conditions and allowing extra drink breaks for both teams.
Next weekend the Boars travel to Narromine’s Cale Oval to face the Gorillas. Narromine had a strong win over Mudgee Wombats in their first round so this will be a big match for both teams. Seconds kick off at 1:50pm with First at 3:15pm.