WALCHA chalked up its first win of the season but was made to work for it by an improving Quirindi at Quirindi on Saturday.
The Lions were in the match at half-time, with only four points the difference, but the Rams pulled away in the second half to run out 28-17 victors and pick up their first points for the season.
It was a bit of a stop-start affair, mainly because of injuries. Twice the ambulance had to be called to attend to players.
Both – Lions half-back Jack Foran and Rams fullback Brian Mansfield – are okay.
Foran’s injury occurred with about six minutes to go and, by mutual agreement, the game was called off early.
Rams coach Andrew Jack was happy to take the points but wasn’t entirely happy with the performance.
While he felt they were dominant in the scrums, they made a lot of mistakes.
“They forced the ball,” Jack said.
“The boys were trying to make amends for last week.”
They put themselves in a good position but couldn’t go on with it.
On Saturday when they got it right they were hard to stop.
“When we were able to keep ball in hand and allow the backs to run they carved them up,” Jack said.
Winger Will Plush continued his rugby education scoring a double.
He’s moved up from Victoria for work and is giving rugby a crack after previously playing AFL.
He also got the three points.
Number eight Fred Kei, second-rower Tom Rose and five-eighth Simon Newton also had strong games.
Lions coach Grant Batty said the injuries made things a bit messy but he thought the game was pretty evenly matched.
“They dominated for periods and we did the same.
“They probably had a bit more firepower than us in the backs.”
The Lions couldn’t manage a point against Gunnedah the week before but just missed the four-try bonus point on Saturday.
“We were a lot more competitive when we had the ball in hand,” Batty said.
“Some of our catch and pass was good.”
He thought second-rower Will Elsley and fullback Brock Beresford were their best.