UNSTOPPABLE: Brad Johnson during his career with Water Rats.
UNSTOPPABLE: Brad Johnson during his career with Water Rats. Gerard Walsh

Classic Rats efforts at home rugby union game

Rats report from the sideline by Warwick Water Rats B-grade manager Alastair Costello

THERE'S something a little bit special about Friday night games. Maybe it's the lights, the feeling that all eyes are on you or the big crowd that turns out. Last weekend, it just felt like there was more pressure than when we usually play at home. The players seemed more eager to put on a big performance, and didn't the lads deliver. It rained tries. The kick and chase, something that rarely pays off, mostly because you just kick the ball away, actually worked a treat.

First it was Josh Sharman kicking and regathering to score a cracker and then Brad Johnson, followed suit with a try of his own. Enter Lachy Winter with what can only be described as a beautiful but utterly selfish try. The Rats backline sparked again and Lachy got his hands on the ball as he crossed the halfway. He hit the gas and burnt a couple of defenders. Faced with a few more roadblocks and teammates screaming for the ball, he put his head down, drowned out the noise and headed for the line, slicing through anyone trying to stop him and scoring under the posts.

Questioned about his actions after the game, he said something like "Oh yeah, I could hear everyone yelling but I thought to myself, nope I'm scoring this try” and so he did. What a ball hog.

I was 26-0 at half time and the Rats were sitting pretty, poised to run riot once again. The Bears though, had other ideas. Their heads never dropped as they held out the Rats for long periods in the second half.

They could have easily dropped their bundle and a lesser bunch of blokes would have but they stuck it out and stung us with a try of their own. A valiant effort, fellas.

Alas they were powerless to stop Brad Johnson as he made the play of the game. Brad likes to do things a little bit differently and in the dying moments of the match he pulled a massive try-sized rabbit out of his hat. He stepped up for a restart drop-kick and dinked it just passed the 10m line, surprising everyone but himself.

Regathering, he scythed through the defence, scoring in the corner. A classic play. He reckons this move pays off more than you think and quotes a 11-14 success rate. Strange numbers but I'm not going to dispute it.

"Usually if I get the ball back I'm over the moon,” he said.

A brilliant Rats 43-7 win.

This Saturday, we are at home to St George at 1.30pm.



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