A DOMINANT performance from Orange CYMS’ Jack Bastick wasn’t enough to get his Western Rams 16s unit over the line in Saturday’s Country Rugby League Regional Championship final.
The hulking front rower was a standout in the Rams’ 34-6 loss to a clinical Greater Northern Tigers unit, controlling the middle of the paddock with barnstorming runs and brutal defence.
Played at Tamworth’s Scully Park, discipline hurt Western in the first half of the game, going into the break 12-nil down.
Greater Northern halfback Josh Bermingham opened the scoring early in the first period, with back rower Cameron Howard converting.
The score remained locked at 6-nil until Bermingham grabbed his second on the half time buzzer. Howard added the extras to extend the Tigers’ lead to 12.
Two quick converted tries to Greater Northern, through Bradley Collett and Harrison Buhler, straight after the break had Western on the ropes at 24-nil.
The Rams tried to spark a resurgence, scoring next through centre Mitchell Andrews, but Greater Northern hit back immediately through Jake Harman.
Buhler then grabbed his second to set the result in stone, and secure his team the Ron Lanesbury Shield.
Rams coach Cameron Greenhalgh said the result was disappointing, blaming his side’s lack of execution.
“The ball just went to ground too often,” he said. “We had chances in the game, we just couldn’t execute. Last week they were coming off, this week they weren’t.
“In saying that the Tigers played very well, they surprised me quite a bit actually. The boys are disappointed, but they’ll learn from that loss.”
The NSW Country under 16 squad to play in Rockhampton next month was named after the game, with Western earning five representatives including Bastick.
He will be joined by Narromine half-back Isaac Thompson, Parkes second rower William Burns, Forbes back rower Mathew Woolnough and 18th man Graham Peckham, from Wellington.
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 34 (Josh Bermingham 2, Harrison Buhler 2, Bradley Collet, Jake Harman tries; Cameron Howard 5 goals) def WESTERN RAMS 6 (Mitchell Andrews try; Jesse Parker goal).