The Redbacks’ rugby season started off on the weekend. Round One was held at Boorowa against the Goldies, last year’s losing grand-finalists.
We were met with a 33 degree day in sunny Boorowa.
In the pre-season, the Goldies had already played three practice matches and had a squad of 26, which we generously, perhaps naively, let play with unlimited changes.
Braidwood had 18 players, three of which were registered on game day.
With a rather rushed, yet enthusiastic pre-season preparation the lads took to the field, some of them introducing themselves to each other as they ran on.
The intent to do damage was obvious from the start with the game starting at a frenetic pace.
Our forwards dominated the Goldies scum, driving them off the ball, winning every scrum, even against the feed. The front row consisted of a combination of Nathan Moffit, Luke Cumming, Buzz Mcglone, Ben Elliot and recent leaguey convert Josh McNamara. They were brutal in demoralising last years finalists.
This gave new half back, Billy Hatzis plenty of clean ball which he delivered swiftly to our 2018 CaptainSimon ‘Kiwi’ Hopkins.
Our new back line was made up of Tim ‘Fossie’ Foster, Robbie Bell and Ben Howard at full back. They capitalised on the tidy ball, combining well in the centres, attacking and defending tirelessly all day.
They were able to give rookies Harry Shoemark and Brayven Rae room to move out wide. Howard had a cracking game with the boot gaining valuable metres and slotting two conversions, including one ripper from the sideline.
Open play was a pleasure to watch with Jacob, Angus Sherriff and Leyland Blyton making some great punishing runs. Flankers, Tim Stanton, Luke Turner and Cade Graf were relentless, in both attack and defence.
By half time we had demolished the Goldies front row. To our disappointment, they had no interest in continuing the front row battle, calling for uncontested scrums. This took away our advantage in the forwards, letting loose their well drilled back line.
Mid-way through the second half, Boorowa’s long pre-season preparation, their revolving bench and the loss of our scrum advantage, had taken its toll. The Boorowa lads made the most of our exhausted players, scoring a rush of tries despite the tenacity of the Braidwood boys.
Boorowa ran out winners 55-14 by the end of a very entertaining and hard fought match.
Come on down to the Rec Ground on Saturday to watch the lads take on the Crookwell at 2:30pm.