Walcha gives departing trio a suitable sendoff

WALCHA gave departing coach Andrew Jack, number eight Fre Kei and half-back Dougall Elliot a winning send-off with a 39-21 win over Barraba on Saturday.

It gave them back to back wins and Rams bragging rights – for the time being anyway.

They set the win up in the first half, scooting out to a 22-nil lead at halftime.

“The boys settled in and got a try pretty quickly,” Jack said.

“That set them in the mode.” 

He said it was a good game with neither side giving an inch.

The backs was where they had the edge.

“Our backs were a bit superior,” Jack said.

That was reflected on the scoreboard, with five-eighth Simon Newton, outside centre Soni Halukonuka, winger Richard Young and fullback Ed Churchill all crossing.

As he was looking for them to do, they had forwards running off the backs which created mis-matches.

“Our ability to recycle kept Barraba on the back foot,” he said.

They were a bit slow out of the blocks in the second half and let in a couple of “soft” tries.

“We had a bit of lapse in concentration,” he said.

But they switched back on and got back on top.

Kei has had to return to New Zealand for family reasons and had a final game to savour – scoring a try, kicking a conversion and picking up the three zone best and fairest points.

Will Fletcher got a couple of tries and “was good” as was Robbie Glen at number eight.

Jack shifted him there from the second row to try him out as an option to replace Kei.

He’s been playing there but moved to the side on Saturday.

Newton also had a strong game.

It was Jack’s last game in charge. Due to a change in work circumstances, he said he couldn’t commit to the travel side of coaching.

Ben Taber was Barraba’s best in the second row.

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