The initial physical clashes in the first-round match between Cargo Blue Heelers and Kandos Waratahs in the revamped Midwest Rugby League's Wallerawang Landscaping Cup indicated that players from both teams were in for a day of bumps and bruises.
(min cost $8)
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Both teams were up for their first game against each other in 15 years, and for two teams not having played rugby league for nearly 12 months, the first 10 minutes were surprisingly tough.
Despite the early heavy defensive clashes, bright attacking football had not been overlooked either as Cargo quickly moved the ball to their danger men, back-to-back penalties allowing them to besiege the Kandos line.
Solid Waratahs' defence held strongly and they were able to repulse the Cargo attack, the 'Heelers players stopped time and again just centimetres from scoring.
Surviving the early onslaught, Kandos eventually worked their way up field away from their danger zone and were able to open up the middle of the field with some strong runs with the ball.
Down the centre, firstly Michael Parsons, then Nathan Annetts, and Glenn Osgood pushed the attack 50 metres to allow an opportunistic try to Rhys Greentree to score first points for the day.
Daniel Steel steered the ball between the posts, and the Waratahs were away to a 6-nil lead.
Just four minutes later Cargo's Jarrod Brodrick's unconverted try closed the gap to 6-4.
The game was split into quarters to allow short rest breaks for the players to get some oxygen into burning lungs.
Nearing the end of the first session it was Kandos who, applying extended pressure on the Cargo line as the 'Heelers had done in the first minutes, looked certain to score, and eventually forced a dropout from Cargo.
However, the opportunity was lost when the ball was knocked on by Kandos from the line dropout kick.
In the second quarter, only one minute after the kick-off Kandos' Ethan Parsons scored a 70-metre intercept try and, with the conversion the Waratahs took a 12-4 lead.
Cargo hit back with a try to Riley Oberne, and unconverted, the score was 12-8 to the Waratahs.
After the halftime break the local side began to pull away with tries to Josh Amberge, Luke Wilson and Riley Oberne to consolidate a 12-point lead going into the final quarter.
In the final 20 minutes the Waratahs' Kevin Large scored an unconverted try for 24-16 before Cargo's Brett Morgan sealed a 28-16 victory with the final try of the day.
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