TWO tries in five minutes enabled Old Bar to take control of the Group Three Rugby League game against Taree City at Old Bar.
The Pirates were down 10-6 with 26 minutes remaining on the clock in what had been a dour, error-riddled struggle. However, winger Clint Walker beat the defence deep in his own half before he was grassed by the defence. The Pirates then launched a sweeping raid that saw winger Scott Bungie position centre Percy King and he raced clear and improved his position. Corey Wheeler then potted the conversion, making it 10-6. Minutes later Wheeler gave Old Bar field position with a raking kick that the Bulls failed to clear from their line. From the re-start Old Bar went on the attack and Wheeler pushed his way through tackles and worked his way over in the corner. King then landed a sideline conversion and the 10 point buffer at 16-6 was always going to be enough to get Old Bar home.
Wheeler was enjoying his first game in the run-on side this year and he’s sealed his spot for the immediate future. Playing in the halves despite wearing the number one jumper, his kicking game was a feature while he probed away in attack. It was a Wheeler pass that instigated Old Bar’s first half try eventually scored by the hard working second rower Carlos Kohu-Martin, who with Wheeler was the best Pirate on show. Kohu-Martin’s work rate was exemplary.
The Bulls were okay in patches but they just can’t maintain pressure. A plus for the club was the performances of young hookers Oscar Carey and Jake Lauder. Lauder usually plays in the centres but his quick dashes out of dummy half could see him become a regular rake. Lauder scored early in the second half from dummy half and the conversion by Dean Mills gave Taree the two point break. Carey also gets through plenty of work and is one of a number of young prospects the Bulls boast.
Old Bar 16 (C Kohu-Martin, P King, C Wheeler tries, C Wheeler, P King goals) defeated Taree City 6 (J Lauder try, D Mills goal)
It was a red letter day for the Pirates with the club winning all four grades in front of a big home crowd.