Rugby Gala day

The Braidwood Redbacks held their sponsors day on Saturday with the Braidwood Daddy Long Legs and the Kiama Blowhards battling it out in a classic game of Golden Oldies, and the Redbacks taking on Yass in round 15 of the Monaro/South Coast competition.

The Kiama Blowhards Golden Oldies travel once a year with family and friends and Braidwood was lucky enough this year to be that destination. The Kiama strong contingent of 65 arrived in Braidwood late Friday afternoon with a stop off at the Steam Packet at Nelligen and a quick diversion to the Majors Creek Pub before starting and ending their evening at the Royal Mail. The coffee shops were given a fair workout on Saturday morning helping the Blowhards prepare for a tough hit out with the always tough Daddy Long legs. Kick off was at 12:30 with the ceremonial “drenching” of the players with cheap port. The game was a tough one and had it all. Thirty ultra fit men with perfect physiques giving it to each other reminiscent of the Gladiators in that by gone Roman Empire era! Thankfully both teams came through unscathed for a 5 all draw and a congratulatory port “drenching at the full time whistle.  

The Redbacks then took the field in front of the largest, most vocal home crowd of the year, backed up with the support of the Kiama contingent. Braidwood went into the game without inspirational and all round “good bloke” hooker Luke Cumming and tireless flanker Nick Roberts. However, the Redbacks, feeling confident after their maiden season win against Jindabyne last week started the game how they ended last weeks and quickly crossed for the first try to fullback Ben Howard converted by Tommy Watson. Soon after Yass got on the board with a runaway try that was in turn matched by a five pointer to big number eight Tim Moffitt. The game continued to seesaw from one end of the ground to another with both teams playing a good kicking game. Yass however were the next to score taking the game into half time at 14 all.

With two teams that play a similar style of football, the game was providing excellent entertainment for the large crowd who were silenced in the 48th minute by another Yass 5 pointer scored from within the Redbacks half. The Redbacks scrum was struggling somewhat without hooker Luke Cumming, and when flanker Mitch Gough came off with an injured shoulder, stand in hooker Billy Hatzis moved to his natural breakaway position, prop Ben Elliot came on and Buzz McGloan moved to hooker. This proved to be a master stroke for coaches Sherriff and Kemp, with things turning around and the Braidwood scrum starting to dominate. Braidwood then crossed for a strong five pointer to Dave Flemming taking the score to 21 all. Unfortunately Yass soon crossed over again for yet another try scored from within the Redbacks own half, with a missed conversion taking the score to 26-21 and a bumper last 10 minutes. Braidwood then spent five minutes hammering the Yass line, earning penalty after penalty until a high tackle over the line forced the referee to award the Redbacks a penalty try and a final score line of 28 to 26 to Braidwood and their second win of the season. Best and Fairest 3 points went to Tom Watson, 2 to Ben Howard and 1 each to Ben Elliot and Buzz McGloan who both had their best games of the season. Players player went to 2nd rower Angus Sherriff.

A huge thankyou again goes out to Kiama for a great weekend, the Redbacks sponsors who allow us to take to paddock and all the volunteers, including the Black Widows, who helped us run a very successful sponsors day on Saturday.

Next week’s game is away to Crookwell, followed by a Friday night game at Bungendore on July 28, where the Redbacks would love to see a large contingent from Braidwood out to support them.