The Roosters might have been down to 10 men late in the second half against the Cowboys at Dungowan, but they produced what their coach Geoff Sharpe believes might have been their best performance of the season in a crucial 32-12 win.
With fullback Mitch Doring leading the way with a brilliant four-try game, the Roosters were up 22-12 after the third of Doring’s tries when the game erupted.
Kootingal-Moonbi’s Brandon Parry copped a 10 minute sin-binning in the 69th minute for a misdemeanour against Cowboy centre Jack Rumsby.
In the next set of tackles a melee broke out, with Kooty’s Matt Lillicrap sent off for what referee Luke Sheather said was “running a distance to a former melee and throwing a punch”.
The Roosters will vigorously defend that charge. Rooster hooker Ryan Martin and Cowboys captain-coach Lochie Collins also received 10-minute sin-binnings.
That left the Roosters with 10 players and Cowboys with 12.
However it was the Roosters who prospered after five-eighth Jordan Sharpe dummied and raced clear to put Doring over for his fourth try. Sharpe then gave a wide pass to winger Aaron Hall for him to score in the corner and make it 32-12.
“The game could have been lost in that final 10 minutes,” Geoff Sharpe said.
“We were down to 10 with two in the bin and one sent off and they had 12. We had to defend two sets and did and still scored two tries. It was a real big 10 minutes that might have defined our season. It’s the best we’ve played this season.”
The Roosters trailed 12-6 at halftime.
Doring picked up the three best and fairest points. Dungowan props Shaun Ferguson and Fraser Evans received two points and one point respectively – Ferguson earning plenty of praise from his captain-coach.
But Collins said the Cowboys were disappointing.
“I thought the first half was our best this year, gave us momentum,” he said.
“But we didn’t take advantage of that. We had been starting slowly all year and finishing good. This time we started well and couldn’t finish.”
He thought Dylan Manicaros played strongly in his first game back while Ferguson was outstanding and carried the Cowboys forward at different stages of the game when they needed it.
Kootingal-Moonbi had a fleet of good players behind Doring and Sharpe, with Cameron McDonald, Mitch Denning and Ryan Martin strong in defence.
Prop Kyle Cochrane might have trouble with his hands but did well to play after “twinging his back” in the pre-game warm-up, coach Sharpe said.
KOOTINGAL-MOONBI 32 (Mitch Doring 4, Aaron Hall, Shane Salvador tries; Doring 4 goals) d DUNGOWAN 12 (Nathan McGuire, Lochie Collins tries; Josh Crittenden 2 goals). NORTH WEST FARM MACHINERY AGCO B&F: 3 Mitch Doring (K), 2 Shaun Ferguson (D), 1 Fraser Evans (D).
Ladies League Tag: KOOTINGAL-MOONBI 10 (Abrianna Dow, Kendall Horne tries; Aimee Diebold goal) d DUNGOWAN 4 (Liz Thomas try). NORTH WEST FARM MACHINERY AGCO B&F: 3 Kendall Horne (K), 2 Brianna Trickett (D), Aimee Diebold (K).