Warriors down premiers

The only unbeaten team in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition in season 2014, the Wattles Warriors, continued their excellent start to the season with a 29-20 victory over the reigning premiers the Gatton Hawks at Gatton last Saturday night. 

The Wattles boys jumped out of the blocks and raced to a 24-4 lead at half-time courtesy of danger man Matthew Duggan. 

The chief playmaker once again tore the opposition apart with some individual brilliance.  Duggan scored twice and was the major contributor for fullback Jackson Greene’s brace of tries.  Duggan is the key to the Warriors no doubt. 

The half time score line pointed to the Warriors side running away with the match however, the Gatton side, rallied by the local crowd, staged a great comeback to draw within six points of the visitors with 10 minutes to play. 

A clever field goal and a belated penalty goal rounded off Duggan’s night and halted the gallant Hawks fight back.  The second half effort by the Hawks would have given local supporters renewed belief for their side to defend the title.

The other main fixture, which featured last year’s grand finalist, the Valleys Roosters clashed with the Souths Tigers.  The game was highlighted by great attacking skills however some pretty inept defensive efforts were also on display. 

The Tigers led 20-6 with 10 minutes to go before half time, only to see the lead evaporate to two points after some clever attacking play from the Roosters half Ryan Stevens led to the Roosters touching down twice. 

With the half time score board reading 20-18 to the Tigers, both coaches were confident of victory.  The second half mirrored the first with the Tigers stretching their lead to 42-24 with some scintillating attacking play. 

The Roosters scored a consolation try with minutes remaining to leave the final score 42-30 in favour of the Tigers.  Best for the Tigers were Welsh import Lewis Reece who excelled at fullback whilst dynamic pivot Sean Loxley illustrated his defence was equal to his attacking prowess.

In other games, Highfields made it two wins in a row upsetting the much vaunted Dalby Devils 30-24.  Warwick Cowboys continue to show improvement and registered a good victory over the courageous Pittsworth Danes 38-26.  Oakey consigned Brothers to the bottom of the ladder with a 34-10 win over the Brethren.

This weekend Souths clash with Warwick, on Saturday night, at the oval, in what should prove to be a close encounter.  Pittsworth Danes meet the Dalby Diehards in the other game scheduled for Saturday night.

In a match evenly poised I think the Danes can return to the winners list especially with the home ground advantage.   Valleys are now at home to Gatton in a grand final replay, both sides are coming off consecutive losses, and will be keen to get the two points and get their season back on track. 

Highfields clash with the Oakey Bears, a local derby both sides are last start winners with something to prove to the competition.  I favour the Eagles in what could be a high scoring encounter.  Wattles will continue their unbeaten run and should account for the youthful Brothers side.