Despite suffering some hard knocks in the opening round, Tony Woolnough's under 16s Western Rams side have backed up their opening round winning effort with a 20-8 victory on Sunday.
While the Rams never lost control of their match with the Monaro Colts at Belconnen oval, a tighter scoreline and some unforced errors provided more than a few scares for the visitors and their coach.
"They started really, really well, it was a strong start and then things sort of turned the wrong way for us and for that next twenty, thirty minutes just before half time were playing catch up football and making a lot of mistakes and penalties," Woolnough said.
An early try from Bradley Fuller put the Rams ahead five minutes into the contest and the Colts were unable to find an answer before Manny Tobin crossed again, with Fuller and Thomas Negus adding the extras to create a 12-0 lead.
While the penalties and errors began piling on for the Rams and allowed the Colts time to stage a fightback and score a try through centre Aiden Herbert.
"To the boy's credit, they came out the other side of it, they just tackled and tackled and held on," Woolnough said.
"They're still young, so it's their age a little bit and they're still coming together and finding out what works."
"Definitely happy with the effort during that period, the colts had a whole lot of the ball in that middle period and we just hung in there, even through the mistakes we kept hanging in and fortunately for us we came out the other side."
With the game in the balance and a further try to colts winger Darcey Bush narrowing the gap to 12-8 shortly after play resumed.
Despite the pressure and the bulk of the possession remaining with the Colts, the Rams were able to hold their opponents out, preventing any more tries until deep in the second half where Rams winger William Malloy struck, pushing the Western side further ahead.
Another try to Lachlan Lawson in the final minute sealed the scorecards 20-8 in the Rams favour.
"We had a head injury to our fullback at half time so Malloy had to step up and we did have to bring our eighteenth man into play, but those two late tries are a real credit to the boys," Woolnough said.
In the Laurie Daley Cup, the under 18s Western Rams started strong in both halves, with Cody Lawson and Jack Cole both scoring tries shortly after play started, but were unable to hold off a surging Colts side that controlled most of the game.
The Colts seized back the lead in the first half, leading by 10-6 at the break and then stormed home in the second, with a late try to Kane Rushton and two penalty goals from Colts' five-eighth Mitchell Evans swaying the result firmly towards Monaro 26-12.
That victory puts the Colts in the first spot on the competition ladder heading into the third round, where both Rams' sides will square off with the Panthers closer to home, playing in Mudgee at Glen Willow Oval on Saturday, February 29.
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