As teams start to try and make their mark on the Central Highlands competition after two rounds, only six for and against points separate the top three teams on the ladder with Middlemount, Clermont and Springsure the only undefeated teams left.
In Round 2 results, Friday night footy was a hit in Blackwater as both the Crushers and Tigers shared the points over the two games.
The Tigers Ladies got a narrow 8-6 win against the home side in a shortened affair as most of the second half was lost due to injury.
Silly errors and poor ball security dominated the first 10 minutes, but as both sides settled, some great footy was on display. The Tigers’ Miranda Bartley was best on ground and named the player of the match for her efforts up front, with some good carries and strong defence to keep the Crushettes out.
It was better news for the home side in the Men’s clash though, defeating the Tigers 36-18.
Adam Stewart was named the player of the match for his performance in the halves, steering the Crushers to a comprehensive victory. Brad Gorman and Aaron Price set the standard for the forward pack as the home side motored up the field and Shae Cox’s perfect boot helped guide the home side to their first win of the season.
In Dysart, the Bob Baird Shield changed hands again as the Clermont Bears dished out a 60-22 defeat to the home side.
Back at hooker, Tom Murray guided his young side around for the Bears to score 11 tries to four with Jack Slattery earning a double on the wing.
Dysart tried their best to keep the Bears out as they work on their new combinations, including Kerrod Page at halfback and Davin Turner at hooker with the unavailability of the Kilpatrick brothers; Josh and Clayton.
In the earlier women’s match, it was all Clermont as they put an inexperienced Dysart side through their paces, winning 74-0.
The Crows representatives were on display as the “human fridge”, Elle Waters scored five tries, Mel Micallef crossing the line three times and Tegan Rolfe bagging two.
The Dysart women should be proud of having a go as many of the team were new players and it’s only going to get better from here for the young Bulls.
Middlemount are hungry to win back the premiership, defeating the Cowboys 44-24 in Emerald.
Michael Baker is playing out of his skin at fullback scoring a hattrick whilst Ryan Hansell fills the void in the halves left by the injured Mitch Wyatte. Sam Creedon also scored a trifecta for the visitors.
Despite not recording a win yet, the Cowboys have been competitive in both of their opening matches, giving it to both Springsure and Middlemount in the first half of the games. If they can string two halves together, particularly against Dysart this weekend, they are on their way to earning their first two points of the season.
Finally, the Springsure Mountain Men held out the Bluff Rabbitohs to record a 30-12 win to continue their perfect start to the season.
Despite the Rabbitohs having a majority of possession in the first half, the Mountain Men put up their rabbit-proof defence and kept the visitors out before adding to the scoreboard in the second stanza.
Sam Cronk was outstanding, scoring a hattrick at dummy-half and his speed around the ruck kept their forwards motoring up the park.
Bluff at their best are a team that others should fear, but it seems they were missing a few players including Round 1 player of the match, Dane Heron. The Rabbitohs will be firing at home this week to turn their Round 2 loss around.
Springsure will face a tough task with a trip to Middlemount to play last year’s grand finalists in the Allen Johnson Memorial Shield.
ROUND 2 RESULTS
EMERALD TIGERS LADIES 8 (Miranda Bartley, Arnika Cave tries) defeated BLACKWATER CRUSHETTES 6 (Olivia Hamilton try; Mariah Storch goal)
CLERMONT BEARS LADIES 74 (Elle Waters 5, Melissa Micallef 3, Tegan Rolfe 2, Kailah Rogers, Candice McKie, Ainslee Lawrence, Tiana Nicolson tries; Ainslee Lawrence 7, Kailah Rogers, Candice McKie goals) defeated DYSART BULLS LADIES 0
BLACKWATER CRUSHERS 36 (Adam Stewart 2, Colby Napper, Aaron Price, Brad Gorman, Rhys Giles tries; Shae Cox 6 goals) defeated EMERALD TIGERS 18 (Isaiah Huet 2, Sebastian Stiegler, Tremayne Pita-Robinson tries; Joe Taylor goal)
CLERMONT BEARS 60 (Jack Slattery 2, Ethan Kennedy, Will Mohr, Brodee Barrett, Brodie Perry, Gus Roberts, Peter Hall, Jackson Reynolds, Liam Chapple, Brendan Hartland tries; Jackson Reynolds 5, Brodie Perry 2, Peter Hall goals) defeated DYSART BULLS 22 (Assan Munro, Mark Contreras, Kerrod Page, Davin Turner tries; Delroy Matthews 3 goals)
MIDDLEMOUNT PANTHERS 44 (Michael Baker 3, Sam Creedon 3, Jamie Sullivan 2, Jason Randell tries; Matt Heidecker 3, Patrick McMahon goal) defeated EMERALD COWBOYS 24 (Sam Clayton, Will Pakie, Andrew Doyle, Jordan Vogler tries; Sam Clayton 2, Keiren Pratt 2 goals)
SPRINGSURE MOUNTAIN MEN 30 (Sam Cronk 3, Charlie Mayne 2, Sam Fairweather tries; Ray Ebsworth 2, Jared Owens goal) defeated BLUFF RABBITOHS 12 (Ryan O’Donoghue, Keagan Freeman tries; Reece Williams 2 goals)
Men’s Ladder after Round 2: Middlemount 4, Clermont 4, Springsure 4, Blackwater 2, Bluff 2, Tigers 0, Cowboys 0, Dysart 0
Women’s Ladder after Round 2: Clermont 4, Blackwater 2, Tigers 2, Cowgirls 2, Dysart 2
For the full draw, results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Central Highlands Rugby League, visit www.chrugbyleague.com.au.