Kade Welsh can’t get past the tackle of Sawtell’s Luke Hemsworth.
Kade Welsh can’t get past the tackle of Sawtell’s Luke Hemsworth. Bruce Thomas

Roosters break six year drought

THEY may have had the luck of the Irish on their side in the frantic final minutes but Nambucca Heads did enough to break a long-standing drought against Sawtell yesterday.

The Roosters had not beaten the reigning premiers for nearly six years but yesterday they hung on grimly for the final 15 minutes to record a 24-20 victory which keeps them at the top of the Group 2 table.

“We made it hard for ourselves at the start of the second half and I really thought we were gone but they’re mates and they all played for each other,” a relieved Nambucca Heads coach Garren Stigg said after the game.

Late in the clash Sawtell had the ball at the right end of the field which was unusual in itself considering how often the Panthers butchered possession throughout the day but made a decision to run the ball on the last tackle rather than kick the ball toward the in-goal area which made the Roosters’ task of holding on all the easier.

A strong kicking game from half back Mick Ronan turned Sawtell around for most of the day and the advantage in territory that he gave Nambucca Heads was probably the deciding factor.

“We didn’t have to do anything good, we just had to hang on and luckily for us our defence held and a few decisions went our way and we were good enough to take them,” Stigg added.

Sawtell captain-coach Rohan Loudon tried hard in the second half to drive his team towards victory after trailing by eight points at the break but not even he could overturn the damage done by his team completing less than 50 per cent of their sets.

“You’ve got to give credit to Nambucca for winning but they weren’t great and we were worse,” Loudon lamented.

“As soon as we came out in the second half we got a good set in, I think we got the drop out straight up and then we made the mistake on the second tackle and that was the trend for the second half.”



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