15 May, 2021
Injury strapped Warriors held scoreless at Highfields
After the Wattles first graders wore a 28 to nil walloping by the Highfields Eagles last Sunday local league historians embarked on a feverish search for the last time the Warriors had been held scoreless in a Toowoomba Rugby League top grade fixture.
While Mothers across the nation deservedly celebrated on Sunday, for Wattles it was anything but a pleasurable day out at the top of the range losing three from three and adding to their injury tally.
With player/coach Travis Burns cooling his heels on the sidelines after a
Round 3 send off in Wattles’ win over the Brothers Leprechauns at Platz Oval, the veteran of 215 NRL/British Super League games was a noticeable absentee in the Warriors line-up.
Defence wise the contest was a brutal encounter at the Eagle’s Kuhl’s Road Complex, the score anything but an accurate indication of the path of the game, but Highfields banked their opportunities when presented.
Wattles’ assistant coach Luke Duggan, who has recently coached the Toowoomba Clydesdales to success at the QRL Central Division 47th Battalion Championships, from his sideline view thought “Highfields and wanted the win more.”
“We only started with twelve fresh players, our
line speed wasn’t up to scratch, we seemed flat in attack and you can’t win
a game with a 65% completion rate,” Duggan said.
Two tries in the space of five minutes midway through the first stanza had the Eagles stepping high leading 12 – 0.
Wattles had the best of the early stages, which included a disallowed touchdown, but the Highfields defence called a halt to all the Warriors could throw up in their quest for much needed points.
With the scoreboard still parked on 12-0 at half time, the rugged tussle continued into the final forty minutes.
The Eagles claimed first points of the new half courtesy of an intercept try in the 50th minute by five-eighth Pat Templeman to boost the score to 16 - 0.
Player of the match, Highfields’ halfback Cory McGrady crossed for two late tries to seal the win.
McGrady, Templeton and fullback Jar red Lee were superb with back-rowers Matthew Prowse and former Wattles junior Sam Bielefeld leading the way for the Eagles pack.
Bookends Dale Perkins and Michael Pearson played well in the beaten Wattles side which was without a number of valuable players including Burns and workhorse forward Mitch Kiona.
Wattles’ woes heightened after losing representative fullback Jackson Green after just five minutes of play with a head knock and he did not return to the contest.
Highfields Eagles took advantage and it was their defence in the end that won the day.
Highfields 28 (Corey McGrady 2, Jarrod Lee, Sam Belfield, Pat Templeman tries; Pat Templeman 4 goals) defeated Wattles 0.
Highfields 30 (Steve Lee, Preston Brown, Jimmy Mullins, Nick Thom, Michael Domin tries; Cory Haywood 5 goals) defeated Wattles 22 (Declan Sullivan, Garth Lonergan, Terry Bermingham, Nick Morris tries; Tom Morris 3 goals).
Highfields 56 (Dulamai Whiteman 3, Steven Saunders, Conor Page, Zac Brown, Declan Ryan, Ryan Gill, Jayden Wood, Cortay Carmody tries; Chad Lebsanft 7, Ryan Gill goals) defeated Wattles 0.
BACK TO PLATZ OVAL
This Sunday at Platz Oval in Clifton, Wattles will host the Newtown Lions, who are still chasing their first 2021 top grade win.
The A and Reserve Grade matches will be against Newtown while the Wattles Under 18 side will open the program against South Burnett.
Match kick-off times:
- Under 18 - 11.30am
- Reserve Grade - 1.00pm
- A Grade - 2.30pm