August 20, 2012
A conversion after the full-time siren by Blackbutt kicker Andrew Hewitt tied the score at 26-all in a hard-fought A Grade rugby league match against the Wondai Wolves played at Cherbourg on Saturday afternoon.
The match was originally supposed to be part of double header, featuring Cherbourg and Nanango as the main game, but this was cancelled as the Stags have been forced to forfeit the last three matches of the season due to a lack of players.
A good home crowd turned out to watch the Hornets win a thrilling U16s match earlier (see report below), however everyone who stayed around to watch the Blackbutt / Wondai clash would not have gone home disappointed. The teams – third and fourth on the competition ladder – played themselves almost to standstill.
Troy Kerkow open the scoring for the Wolves after just five minutes, and Luke Hedges converted.
Wondai then followed up in quick measure with a try to Cody Beggs in the corner; Hedges missed the difficult kick and the score was 10-0.
The sides then settled into an armwrestle for the next 10 minutes before Blackbutt’s Bryce Holmes broke the tension by crossing the line. Andrew Hewitt’s kick – the first of three he landed for the game – was on target, and the score was 10-6.
Luke Hedges then changed gears … scoring two tries, and converting both, within the next 10 minutes for Wondai.
Three minutes before the break, the Timbertowners hit back via Keiran Harvey, taking the score at half-time to Wondai 22, Blackbutt 12.
Two minutes into the second half, Wondai’s fortunes took a nosedive when their main pointscorer Hedges was injured and forced to leave the field for a spell.
While the Wolves attack was blunted, Blackbutt began testing their defence and finally broke through at the midway point in the half with a try to Chris Clark.
Wondai struck back immediately, with Shane Cliff crossing the line, but that was the last points in the match for the Wolves.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Cameron Hewitt scored for Blackbutt, taking the score to Wondai 26, Blackbutt 20.
A then with less than a minute left, Clinton Harvey crossed the line and improved the position to set up a kick for goal from right in front. Andrew Hewitt obliged, and the scores were level at 26-all.
An exciting U16s match between Cherbourg and Nanango at Jack O’Chin Oval saw the Hornets snatch victory in just the last two minutes of the game after a see-sawing match.
The Stags started the game on the attack, pounding Cherbourg’s line but the Hornets’ defence held. Nanango failed to convert this early pressure into a try – losing the ball over the line on one occasion, being held up on another.
Nanango let in two tries before Brodie Cortes scored the first of his double for the Stags. The half-time score was 12-6.
The Hornets opened the scoring in the second half, but Nanango replied almost immediately.
Then when a Hornets’ player was sinbinned for 10 minutes, Nanango saw an opportunity. Cortes’ second try evened the score at 16-all, and his kick put Nanango ahead for the first time.
A converted try by Anthony Gray then put Cherbourg back in the lead, before Josh Ehrlich (Nanango) evened the score again at 22-all. Cortes’ kick put the Stags back in the lead.
Cherbourg looked to have missed an opportunity after a Nanango mistake when they lost the ball near the line with seven minutes left. But the Hornets quickly regathered and drove home the winning try just two minutes before the final siren.
Try scorers for Cherbourg were Phoenix Aubrey and Anthony Gray (both doubles), and Maleek Gadd. Gray kicked two conversions, and Dareece Douglass, one.
For the Stags, Josh Ehrlich, Brodie Cortes (2) and Norton Bailey all scored tries; Cortes kicked four goals.
The Murgon Mustangs bowed out of the competition after being defeated 42-8 by the Hervey Bay Seagulls. Murgon finished in fifth spot on the ladder.
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Congratulations to Kingaroy Red Ants player Chris Ostwald and Amber Saltner, from Cherbourg, who picked up awards at the Bundaberg Rugby League’s recent Presentation Night.
Ostwald was named 2012 Under 18 Player of the Year and Saltner was 2012 named the Women’s Representative Player of the Year.
Cherbourg v Nanango (at Cherbourg)
A Grade – Nanango forfeited
Wondai v Blackbutt (at Cherbourg)
A Grade – 26-all draw
Wondai v Central Burnett (at Gayndah)
U12s Central Burnett win
U14s Central Burnett win
Kingaroy v Murgon (at Kingaroy)
A Grade – Murgon forfeited
U18s (at Salter Oval, Bundaberg)
Hervey Bay Seagulls 42 defeated Murgon Mustangs 8 (sudden death final)