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Sport

28 April, 2022

Wattles Edge out Cowboys in Battle Royale

A massive crowd of rugby league fans filled Platz Oval on Sunday to see the ‘Stillwater Pastoral Company’ Wattles Warriors first graders overwhelm arch rivals the Warwick Cowboys 30 – 22 and gusty weather conditions.


After a Man of the Match performance, Wattles Reserve Grade back Darby Peardon was presented with the Peter Watts Memorial Medallion by Nathan Watts on Sunday.

The match resulted in a win for Wattles, but far from one of their better games, with half back Matt Duggan along with forwards Jordon Crocker and Michael Pearson leading the way to a three from three fixture success and a perch at the top of the TRL first grade ladder.

Wattles speed machines Austin Jennings & Aaron Hooper showed their wares contributing to a home side win that had its shaky moments against the determined Cowboys outfit.

While Jennings crossed after a quick silver streak down the grand stand side in just the third minute of play, Hooper nailed a hat trick of touchdowns and helped cement a valuable win later in the second half.

Captain/coach Travis Burns was busy in his playmaker roll, but felt both sides played below par and suffered at the hands of poor ball control.

“We couldn’t build momentum, no roll on” said Burns, “we played well for twenty minutes of the game.”

In any stoush between Warwick and Wattles, “the Cowboys keep turning up, they are so hard to beat.”

A gem of a Matt Duggan pass sent Jennings away on his match opening 30 metre try scoring gallop, skirting the attempted tackle of Warwick fullback Dan Watson to score.

After taking a 4 – 0 lead Wattles error rate took control allowing the Cowboys tries as a result through centre Mat Marshall and five-eight/skipper Mick Bloomfield.

Matt Duggan kicked across field prior to half time for winger Hooper to take and score in the south-west corner, both sides heading to the break with Warwick holding on to a 10 – 8 lead.

With rain mizzle starting to fall as the second stanza opened, both sides lifted, Wattles front-rower Michael Pearson steaming over for a try in the 43rd minute, followed up by a touchdown by Warwick back-rower Brock Patti to see the visitors continue clutching a slim advantage, 16 – 14.

When Hooper capitalised on a Travis Burns kick and scored in the 51st minute, it opened the door to a seven minute touchdown spree with centre Nick Van Der Poel and Hooper’s third try for Wattles to lead 30 – 16 with twenty minutes remaining on the match clock.

The Warwick side were far from done though, another try to Marshall and a scoreline of 30 – 22 building a hotly contested finish for the venue packed crowd.

Coach Burns is in no doubt his side need to focus on improvement at training as they prepare to go head to head with the Highfields Eagles on Sunday May 8th at Highfields’ Kuhl’s Road facility. 

A concern for Wattles is an injury to speed machine Austin Jennings who appears to have a hamstring strain.

A member of the Toowoomba Clydesdales side heading to the QRL Central Division 47th Battalion Trophy Carnival in Gladstone this weekend, Jenning’s may be at risk of missing the tour.

Wattles 30 (Aaron Hooper 3, Austin Jennings, Nick Van Der Poel, Michael Pearson tries; Matt Duggan 3 goals)

Warwick 22 (Mat Marshall 2, Michael Bloomfield, Brock Patti tries; Mat Marshall 3 goals)

Reserve Grade - After a blazing start to the 2022 TRL season where they tallied up 104 points to just 6 against in their opening two fixtures, the ‘Tony Morris Tiling’ Wattles reserve grade side tumbled back to Platz Oval in a desperate scrap against the Warwick Cowboys for a gritty 12 – 10 victory.

The Warriors got off to a handy start with five-eight Joe Morris scoring in the eighth minute after an elusive twenty metre run by centre Darby Peardon was halted just eight metres short of the Cowboys tryline.

Tom Henry secured Wattles second try midway through the first half allowing the home side a 12 – 0 lead at the break.

While the Wattles line-up would not have been aware, they wouldn’t bother the scoreboard attendant again. 

Cowboys winger Matthew Henry ran in first points for the visitors before fullback Jordyn Hogden touched down in the 31st minute setting up a fiercely contested closing stage.

Wattles hung on to maintain their undefeated status for the premiership so far.

Co-captain/coach Garth Lonergan had little praise for his team’s performance, “a lot of dropped ball worked against us, but our defence held out when it had to.”

Lonergan and coaching partner Nick Morris were obviously happy to get the win, “but we need to be better with the match against Highfields on the horizon.”

Darby Peardon was judged player of the match and awarded the “Peter Watt Memorial Medalion” for his efforts.

Peter Watt was a great supporter of both the Wattles and Warwick clubs, as well as being a valued past player and sponsor.

The medallion, donated by the Watt family is awarded annually when Wattles meet Warwick in Reserve Grade at Platz Ova.

Wattles 12 (Joe Morris, Tom Henry tries; Tom Morris 2 goals)

Warwick 10 (Matthew Henry, Jordyn Hogden tries; Jeremy Jerome goal)

Under 19 - A four to one first half try scoring advantage and a 22 – 4 half time lead to the Warwick Cowboys laid the foundation for a one-sided 34 – 8 success to the visitors.

Warwick ran up a 16 – 0 lead by the ten minute mark, before a four-pointer by winger Liam Ruhle put Wattles on the scoreboard. 

The Warriors fullback Gus Hutchinson opened the second half scoring just eight minutes after the restart, having run into a gap near the Warwick try line. 

Warwick closed the game out crossing twice in the second stanza.

Wattles struggled with necessary line-up changes brought about by player unavailability, injuries and work, with coach Cameron Hamblin saying “the Cowboys were just too good.”

While Wattles put up a fair effort, and have impressed over the past few weeks, they have plenty to work on.

Hamblin was particularly impressed with front rower Lachlan Stroud and fellow forwards John ‘Smasher’ Lazzaroni, Will Denny and Braeden Middleton all of whom worked hard in the middle.

Five-eight Matt Wilson was busy trying to create opportunities while centre Marley Tunstead was effective on the edges.

Wattles debutante Hayden Doherty impressed until sustaining a shoulder injury.

Warwick 34 (Dean Mauch, Jeffrey Ross, Sam Declan Raumati, Augustus McDade, Lucas Bradfield, Nick Carrie tries; Nicholas Carrie 5 goals)

Black Toyota, Warwick Wattles 4 (Liam Ruhle, Gus Hutchinson tries)

With no Toowoomba Rugby League fixtures this weekend due to representative commitments, Wattles are on the road on May 8th heading to Highfields to take on local side the Eagles. 

Glyn Rees


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