The Gloucester Cockies must win their last two games against defending premiers Forster Tuncurry and wooden-spooners Old Bar if they are to qualify for next month’s semi-finals in the Lower Mid North Coast rugby union premiership.
Ironically, the under-staffed Myall Coast Mudcrabs the Cockies inflicted a heavy 68-7 defeat on last Saturday at Gloucester Park, will in all probability claim fourth position for the sudden-death semi- final against the Manning River Ratz on “Super Saturday”, August 5.
The Mudcrabs are at home at Hawks Nest next Saturday to the front-running Wallamba Bulls and then meet the Ratz at Taree Rugby Park on Saturday week, back-to- back games which could leave them stranded on 22 points, and probably a single point ahead of Gloucester.
A mere 10 players arrived at Gloucester last Saturday for the Mudcrabs’ game, drawing the wrath of their secretary, Ms Annie Scully, who told them: “You were very brave today with so few players, but talk to your mates and friends and tell them to show some balls for the club!”
The Wallamba Bulls almost had their competition-long lead in the competition snatched from them by an unexpected ally of the Forster Dolphins at Nabiac last Saturday.
The Ratz proved as tenacious as their namesakes in restricting the Bulls to a 27-0 success, ultimately the Bulls’ fourth try gaining them the bonus point they needed to bring them level with the Dolphins on 60 points, crushing 81-0 winners over the Old Bar Clams.
Two rounds of the minor premiership remain with the home ground benefit of “Super Saturday’s semi-final double-header” dependent on the outcome of the Dolphins’ clash with the Bulls in their 15th round game at Nabiac next Saturday week (July 29).
The Forster Dolphins’ 13 tries against the Clams says much for the speed and organisation of their back line with triple try-scorer Jesse Logan settling splendidly into his midfield role outside five-eighth Matt Nuku and centre partner Mark Hagarty.
Forster Tuncurry 81 (J Logan 3 M Hagarty 2 T Homer 2 K Forester 2 B Manning R Avard Z Palmer J Bell tries; L Crozier 3 goals M Nuku 3 goals J Paff 2 goals) defeated Old Bar 0, Wallamba 27 defeated Manning River 0 and Gloucester 68 defeated Myall Coast 7.