Josh Sharman will be a key player for the Warwick Water Rats in Friday night footy at Risdon Oval.
Josh Sharman will be a key player for the Warwick Water Rats in Friday night footy at Risdon Oval. Samantha Bennett

Rats rue missing chances and manager Costello feels the pain

Sideline view of the last Warwick Water Rats rugby game by current manager Alastair Costello.

A TRIP to Dalby saw the Rats field its biggest squad of the season, a whopping 18 players.

No, that's not a typo. Such an encouraging roll-up heading into the business end of the season but would it be enough to roll the mighty Dalby Wheatmen?

Well, we started in the worst possible way, standing under our own sticks about two minutes after kick-off. It's classic Rats, the opposition comes out firing, we drop the kick and before you know it we're 7-0 down.

Lads, I hadn't even finished refilling the water bottles. Although we're used to that sort of start, it's not ideal, and we got into our work as the game progressed.

However, the polish needed to topple a juggernaut like the Wheatmen was sorely lacking in the first half. A couple of line breaks weren't converted, and a certain player, who shall remain nameless, didn't offload the ball 5m from the line when we had a 1000 to one overlap out wide.

Oh well, we did eventually score through. Yep, you guessed it, that man Charlie Brennand off the back of another massive scrum, which was dominant once again.

For something a bit different I'm going to talk about some big hits.

There were some monsters out there on Saturday.

James Reynolds, who's called Tractor for a reason, decimated a few blokes. One wonders why anyone would run near him but I suppose he's hard to avoid.

Josh Sharman's tackle takes the gong though. Max Hall described it as: "the biggest hit I've ever seen while playing.”

A Dalby centre threw a total hospital ball to his mate, who must have owed him a favour, and he was completely cleaned up. Nothing fires up the crowd and the lads like a good shot. It was all 100-per cent legal and brilliant to watch.

Back to the rest of the match, I must tip my hat to the Wheatmen. Their team try in the first half, which spanned over 20 phases, was constructive rugby at its best.

Our defence was just as good but when you hold onto the ball for that long there will eventually be gaps. Retention of the ball is excruciatingly crucial and to hold onto it for that long epitomises why they're one of the best. Something we can learn from.

It was 21-5 at half-time but we hit back with some good possession play of our own and Anthony Savovski barged over. The try was converted, making it 21-12.

The Rats continued to push and had a great chance with about 10 minutes to go. Josh had just kicked it through, we managed to regather on the 22m line and were poised to score.

A pass out wide was tragically dropped and pounced on by a Wheatman, who scored under the posts up the other end.

A gut wrenching 14-point turnaround, that was a real kick in the shins. We didn't recover and Dalby won 28-12.

Missed opportunities killed us, yes Dalby are a good side but we only have ourselves to blame for fouling up so many chances.

There is huge potential in this team and a good feeling around the club. I know we can beat the big boys - Dalby, Goondiwindi and St George but we'll have to capitalise on our opportunities if we want to go all the way and we have a great chance to bounce back on Friday night against Bears from Toowoonba at Risdon Oval.

Kick-off is at 7pm Friday so support your Warwick Water Rats.

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