Club Taree Red Rovers under 15s had a busy week, playing a catch up game against Forster Hawks on the Wednesday night, then backing up to play Wauchope Blues on the Friday night.
Wednesday night’s game was played at Taree Recreation Ground. Forster have been struggling for numbers but managed to field a side with no bench. Although short on number Forster, to their credit came out and played in the true spirit of the game. Rovers were first to open the scoring with a slick backline move that saw Jaxon O'Connor given room to move out wide, beating the fullback one-on-one. He could have scored but unselfishly passed to Cooper Seckold, who pushed up in support to score next to the post. From there Rovers looked set to run away with the game with tries to Jaxon O'Connor (3), Drey Mercy (2), Khan Ridgeway (2), Jake Saunders (2) with Cooper Seckold and Ethan Trafford both scoring one each. Forster managed to score two great tries to make the score more creditable, with Rovers running out convincing winners 60-12.
Friday night’s game saw Rovers took on Wauchope Blues at Wauchope. The Blues have always been the quiet achievers in the age group, not boasting a huge forward pack but playing with heart and determination. Wauchope came out firing and really took it to the Rovers in the first half. This fast start saw them take control of the game and late in the half were leading 10-0.
Possession was the key to winning the game. Rovers managed to get on the board before half time with a try in the corner to Ethan Trafford to go to break trailing 10-4. The break must of been the wake up call the Rovers needed as the first 10 minutes in the second half saw them holding the ball and putting together two tries. The first came off a backline move that saw Jake Saunders push through defenders to plant the ball. The conversion missed to reduce the margin to 10-8. Second try was pretty much a repeat of the first, but this time Ethan Collings scored in the corner. The conversion went astray with the Rovers for the first in the match leading 12-10.
The next 20 minutes became scrappy with both teams dropping ball in dewy conditions. But Wauchope looked destined to be the next to score as Rovers kept turning over the ball and inviting the Blues back into the game. The last 10 minutes was a nail biter with Wauchope camped down the Rovers end of the field and it looked as though they had scored when Lincoln Bell darted out dummy half, only to come up short of the line. Rovers defence held strong to steal the win 12 -10.
Rovers under 10s lost 32 to 26 in a great game. Ajay Smith and Nic Harper were great in defence and Clayton Avery, Zayne Morley and Jason Ross scored tries. Big Blake Gill was great, running the ball up to make big metres. Rovers were down 18 nil and made a good come back in second half.
Rovers won 50-0 against Port City Breakers. Ryan Allen had his best game of the season while Mhalikai Mercy was strong again, with powerful hit ups to Jedd Pratt, Lockie Drysdale, Matthew Paulson and Kyle Cochrane. Levi Cannavo sent nice passes to set up tries in what was a good team effort by Rovers.
Under eights went out strongly and played hard to win their game against Forster by 3 tries and a conversion.
Rovers defended consistently throughout the game and were looking for offloads and really made metres and using their sets. Jalarn Simon scored his first ever try – it was from an offload from Ben Lansdowne. Isaac Andrews playing full back provided good coverage in defence across the field
Try scorers were Ben Lansdowne, Riley Williams, Asshur Dumas, Jalarn Simon Isaac Andrews and Zayne.
Rovers played well in their away game, defeating Wingham Tigers. Outstanding effort by the whole team with a wonderful variety of skills displayed by these young boys and girls, showing dedication as a team to remain undefeated.
Try scorers were Tyliera Donovan, Dakoda Manewell, Ebony Grant , Jay Jay and Tye Tyee Clarke and Kevin McIntosh.
Rovers under 12s travelled to Port Macquarie to take on the Port Breakers. Unfortunately they lost 28-20 after coming back from 22-10 down in the first half. Khai Young was strong in both attack and defence, as was Blair Hamilton. Jason Donovan looked dangerous with the ball, while Connor Latham had a strong second half.
Try scorers were Khai Young (2), Jason Donovan and Connor Latham while Jacob Smith and Hudson Smith both kicked conversions