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27 May, 2021

Warwick win local derby in flying finish

As usual the local rugby league derby between Southern Downs based Toowoomba Rugby League clubs the Warwick Cowboys and the Wattles Warriors reached the dizzy heights of competitiveness on Saturday night, the see-sawing arm wrestle lasting the full 80 minutes before Warwick emerged 24 to 16 winners at Platz Oval in a vital contest for both sides.

Wattles had to combat a rock-hard Warwick Cowboys defence during the first half.

An outstanding all-round effort including two touchdowns by Toowoomba representative centre Mitch Watson saw him named Meringandan Pub Player of the Match.

Wattles, who were again without suspended player/coach Travis Burns, had their opportunities in the opening twenty minutes but substandard ball control and solid Warwick defence frustrated the home side.

Warwick was first on the scoreboard through blockbusting centre Joe Fuimaono, however the Warriors responded in the 25th minute with a four-pointer by winger Brayden Wilson after a burst down the eastern side.

The scoreboard was locked at four-all at half time, and after touchdowns by Wattles’ centre Andrew Richardson and Cowboys’ winger Jake Speed early in the second stanza the board clicked over to read level again at 10–10 after 53 minutes.

Wattles started to lift their game in front of a very large Platz Oval crowd and appeared to be taking the upper hand when half-back Matt Duggan kicked from 28 metres out for five-eighth Kai Duggan to gather and score giving the home side a 16–10 lead.

While Mitch Watson had been a shining light in the Cowboys campaign, he dazzled with his talents in the later stages of play to usher the Cowboys to victory.

Two tries, the first a classy individual effort sprinting 35 metres with 19 minutes remaining had Wattles grasping desperately to hold a 16–14 advantage. 

A penalty in the 70th minute had the Cowboys in ideal attacking position and it was Watson again who found his way through Wattles’ defence to score the try that took the wind out of the home side’s sails.

With the full time hooter preparing to sound Warwick half-back Mitch Wilson claimed a spilled ball in goal to score the final try of the match.

The Warriors top-graders face a demanding challenge next Saturday as they head to Toowoomba’s Herb Steinohrt Oval fronting up to emerging premiership favourites the Valleys Roosters.

Warwick 24 (Mitch Wilson 2, Jake Speed, Joe Fuimaono, Mitch Wilson tries; Mitch Wilson 2 goals) defeated Wattles 16 (Braydon Wilson, Andrew Richardson, Kai Duggan tries; Matt Duggan 2 goals).

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