The Gloucester Cockies came out swinging in round two of the Lower Mid North Coast competition with both the men's and the women's teams taking out a win on Saturday.
In the ranges, the reinvigorated Gloucester Cockies club, fielding a new men's team after failing to muster a side last winter, returned to action with a heartening 40-22 defeat of the Old Bar Clams and their women's team completing the double, defeating Old Bar, 42-22.
Executive officer of the Mid North Coast Zone, Bob Wilson, said Gloucester club had recruited male players from the Singleton region.
Kirsten Jory, a local photographer and Gloucester club member, said, "Gloucester played really well considering they had never played together previously. This win will give them confidence for the weeks ahead."
The Wallamba Bulls' optimism for the new rugby union season had a jarring setback when they sustained a second round 32-25 loss to the Wauchope Thunder in the men's premiership match of the day at Nabiac.
The Bulls' consolation was that their women's 10-a-side team inflicted a dominant 40-10 defeat on Wauchope, last year's women's champions and a club which suffered heartbreaking off-season personnel losses in Ellie Johnston and Eleah Waitoa to plundering Sydney rugby league clubs.
At Aub Ferris Field, Nabiac, now occupying a new home ground dressing room complex, Wallamba men failed to live up to expectations in perfect conditions, taking a six-nil lead through two penalty goals before Wauchope's backrower, Ricky Taylor, reduced the deficit with a short-range try just before half-time.
Bulls' skipper Daniel Hessing and then inside-centre James Handford sliced through for tries with centre newcomer, Jakob Samoa, handsomely adding the extras when it appeared the home side were bound for victory.
But the longer the game progressed, the more disjointed the Bulls became despite the hard labour of backrowers, Ash Rushby, Luke Martin and Tom Homer, and the more threatening the Thunder's experienced back line appeared, led by astute midfielder, centre Stephen Blair.
Despite the evidence, Wallamba extended their lead to 18-11 through the dependable boot of Samoa's two penalty goals before Braydon Edrich's try reined in the Bulls to level the scores at 18-all.
Rushby, the ever-dependable No 8, crossed for a deserved try and it appeared Wallamba would scramble home only for Wauchope forward Tom Blanch to score and Blair to level the scores at 25-all, bouncing his conversion off the cross-bar.
In the last desperate minutes, Wauchope snatched the lead with an intercept try close to Wallamba's line by the man-of-the-match, centre Blair.
In the other women's game, the Manning River Ratz (39-12) defeated a combination XV, the Barbarian Hoggs, containing recruits from Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
From Wallamba's winning team, their outstanding women players were Grace Tijou and , continuing on bravely with a broken hand, their captain, Sharron Cobb. The Bulls' irrepressible little livewire, Courtney Currie, was as dangerous as ever, running in three tries in her team's success.