Western will head into its final round clash of the 2017 under 16s Country Championships with the Bidgee Bulls on the back of two wins thanks to a come-from-behind victory over the Greater Southern Redbacks on Saturday.
The Rams trailed 12-0 early but soon earned a decent block of possession to race out to a 30-12 and then 34-18 advantage at Camden’s Kirkham Park.
Two late converted tries to the Redbacks ensured the match’s final 34-30 result flattered the Southern outfit, with Blayney centre Dylan Marmion crossing for two tries in Western’s win.
Coach Kurt Hancock said despite trailing early his Rams outfit never really looked threatened by the improved Redbacks side.
“I was fairly comfortable. At no stage did I think we were going to be beaten even though we were down 12-0 there early on,” Hancock said.
“We were challenged and that brought out the best in the boys, which is pleasing to see. It says a lot about the players they are.
“We didn’t have much ball in that opening period and they scored a couple of tries, but once it swung we made the most of the chances we had.”
Hancock said his side suffered from an opening whistle lull, enabling the Redbacks to race in two quick tries.
It’s the second week in a row the Western outfit has traveled to play, with last weekend’s Camden trip following a round one game in Canberra. The Rams play round three against Bidgee at Parkes.
“We were fairly flat early but I think both sides were,” Hancock said, hinting the Rams under 18s also suffered from back-to-back road trips.
“With this age group, possession tends to flow in blocks, but we’ve been good enough to make the most of the momentum when we have it.
“I’d like to start a bit better against Bidgee, but they’ll be an entirely different beast. We’re going to have to be better.”
Western’s bench was particularly strong in the Redbacks win, with Jarrod Peachey, Brad Fearnley and Josh Piper all making an impact from the pine.
Forbes’ Raymond Towney also had a strong day, kicking five goals and scoring a try.
“We’ve got a really well balanced side,” Hancock added.
WESTERN RAMS 34 (Dylan Marmion 2, Colby Peckham, Ben Glasheen, Coopa Martin, Ray Towney tries; Ray Towney 5 goals) def GREATER SOUTHERN REDBACKS 22 (N Sharp, S Nolan, C Haselhuhn, J Martin tries; S Sheahan 3 goals)