TWO down, two to go.
The Western Rams have started their defence of the Country Rugby League Regional Under 18s Championships title in dominant fashion, comprehensively beating the East Coast Dolphins and the Southern Stingrays in Wingham over the weekend.
Led by Parkes Spacemen half Wade Porter, the Rams got the better of the Dolphins 30-10 on Saturday before backing up yesterday with a 40-0 drubbing of the Stingrays.
The back-to-back wins mean Western takes on the Northern Tigers in the semi-finals of the championships at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Sporting Complex on Sunday.
Rams coach Steve Sutton was pleased his side had progressed through to the championships’ final four, adding the cohesion his side displayed over the weekend was testament to the commitment of the young group.
“I was pretty confident they’d gel,” Sutton said.
“They’re a tight group and they all enjoy each others company which is half the battle in these campaigns. They all really play for each other.”
Forbes Magpies prop Jake Goodwin was outstanding for the Rams up front as was Wellington Cowboys backrower Lewis Stanley and halfback Porter across the two games.
Orange CYMS centre Jarrod Robbins scored a double as did Bathurst Panthers lock Mick Ingwerson in yesterday’s 40-point annihilation of the Stingrays.
“We had a lot of good players, a lot of contributors over the weekend which is encouraging,” Sutton said.
“I was really happy with our effort (yesterday).”
However, Sutton said his side needed to maintain their discipline in the semi-final against the impressive Northern Tigers to progress through to the final.
“I think occasionally we tend to lose our head a little bit. The penalties in the first half (against Southern) were 6-2 and they were all deserved penalties but they were for silly things like being in front of the referee and not square at maker. We can certainly improve out discipline,” Sutton insisted.
“But overall I was pretty happy with the weekend.”