The Redbacks travelled to the coast on Saturday and took on the Bateman’s Bay Boars for the last game of the 2017 season.
Missing key forwards Tim Moffitt and Luke Cumming, the Redbacks conceded an early try before settling down into some structured rugby. The forwards began to take control of the game with great hit-ups from loose forwards Mitch Gough, Billy Hatzis and No. 8 Tom Watson, filling the big shoes of Tim Moffitt.
The Redbacks were soon over for their first try, resulting from some great soccer skills from winger Chris Howan, who won the race for the ball over the try line. The try was converted by Watson, and with a subsequent successful penalty, the Redbacks went out to a 10-5 lead.
On the stroke of halftime, the Boars crossed the Redbacks’ line from a great set move that deadlocked the teams at 10-10 going into the break.
The second half was always going to be tough for the Redbacks, playing into a very strong breeze on which they were unable to capitalise in the first half.
Sam Northcott replaced Buzz Mcgloan at hooker and, with an injury to hard man Cade Graf, Tom Watson took another step towards his pipe-dream of wearing the No.1 jersey by slotting into the second row.
With so many playing out of position, the Redbacks started to show cracks in defence and subsequently conceded a number of tries on the back of some strong attacking play by the Boars, who streamed out to a 32-10 lead after 25 minutes of the second half.
With 10 minutes to go, five-eighth Will Hall, who was having a very strong game, inspired a back line move from a Redbacks scrum that put fullback Ben Howard over in the corner and showed the team what is possible when getting the ball out wide.
A very late try on the final whistle saws the Boars take the game 37-15.
Best and Fairest: 3 points went to Will Hall, who havse had an extremely strong end to the season; 2 points to Angus Sherriff, who has come forward in leaps and bounds in his rookie season; and 1 point to Kiwi, who has been the Redbacks’ most consistent player throughout the season. Players’ Player went to the smiling Billy Hatzis.
While it has been a tough year for results on the paddock, the commitment from the team has been exceptional.
With Braidwood’s re-entry into the competition, the coaching team was looking to build a squad that would grow throughout the year, on and off the field, to create a strong club basis and ensure our participation in this competition in the years to come.
Going into next season, there will be a couple of retirements, but the strong contingent of young blood coupled with returning players and smart recruitment will see the Redbacks back on the paddock, working towards their goal of a 2019 grand final.
The club would again like to thank all their sponsors for making all this possible and look forward to continued support going into next year.
- The Braidwood Redbacks presentation night will be held at the Servicemen’s Club on Saturday, August 12, for which tickets are still available. If you would like to attend, please call Nick on 0488 519 284