Tim Holman produced a man of the match performance as he scored four tries and guided St Pat’s to a hard earned 46-36 win over Cowra at Jack Arrow Oval yesterday.
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Pat’s will now go into their bye this weekend without tasting defeat in Group 10 so far this season, but there was plenty for Cowra to be pleased about as they fought back from a 20 point half-time deficit to get within four at one stage.
Holman scored two tries in each half, exploiting some soft defence on the way to the try line and reminding everyone that he is one of the most dangerous players in Group 10.
Prop Zac Merritt was a late withdrawal for St Pat’s while Cowra had to make do without five-eighth Warren Williams.
After scores were 6-all early in the game, Pat’s raced to a 32-12 half-time advantage. Cowra hit back in a big way after the break, scoring five of the next six tries to get within four points and set up a thrilling conclusion.
Cowra had the momentum and made a break, only to knock on and give Pat’s a chance. The blue and whites duly strolled over through Jeremy Gordon for a 46-36 advantage that they held to the final siren.
Pat’s captain Brent Dennis was again frustrated that his team hadn’t been able to play their best football for 80 minutes, but said they will work hard over the next fortnight to remove the errors from their game.
“A win’s a win, but all the positives came out of our first half. I don’t know what it is about our second halves, but we have a well-earned bye now and we will use that to try and improve,” he said.
“Cowra are never dead and the 20 point advantage at half-time proved to be what got us home. It’s not good enough though and when we get those leads, we really don’t want to lose them.”
Magpies coach Greg Clements was satisfied with the performance of his team against one of the competition’s top outfits but said they need top step it up again if they want to be finals contenders.
“Our blokes showed a lot of fight. When we got back to within six I thought we were in with a real chance and then we made that break that could have levelled the game if we hadn’t dropped the ball. I think both teams had calls that went against them and got a bit frustrated with the refs,” Clements said.
“We have to work on our defence but it’s difficult when you lose both your halves and then have to come over here.”
Holman opened the scoring but Jack Nobes hit back for Cowra to level the scores at 6-all. Consecutive four pointers to Josh Downing and Terry Crane gave the hosts a 16-6 lead before Magpies frontrower Rod Lawrence crossed.
However 16-12 quickly became 32-12 with Adam Ryan and Derryn Clayton going over for tries before Holman completed his double.
Tim Tobin and Tim Holman traded tries after half-time before Josh Downing was sin binned for backchat. Cowra made use of the numerical advantage with Josh Rainbow and Amanesi Aditagane scoring in quick succession and rookie five-eighth Jayden Murray scoring a try to close the gap to 40-36 and 11 minutes left on the clock.
Gordon’s try restored a 10 point gap and gave the blue and whites breathing room that saw them get home.
Dennis praised the efforts of Holman and said he felt the forwards had laid a good platform.
“That’s one of the best games I’ve seen Tim play for a few years. We’ve opened it up for him a little bit more so he can roam and that seems to work for him. It’s up to our pack to go forward for him, that gives him the room to move,” he said.
“It’s been six tough rounds for us and we will make the most of the bye now.”
ST PAT’S 46 (Tim Holman 4, Josh Downing, Terry Crane, Andrew Ryan, Derryn Clayton, Jeremy Gordon tries; Adam Ryan 5 goals) defeated COWRA MAGPIES 36 (Jack Nobes, Rod Lawrence, Tim Tobin, Josh Rainbow, Amanesi Aditagane, Jayden Murray tries; Caley Mok 6 goals)
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