There are two feel good stories coming out of the resumption of Group 6 rugby league in the year of Covid-19.
One is the Campbelltown City Kangaroos, pictured above after yesterday’s match, who have set aside a disappointing 2019 by winning three from three so far to be one of the form teams of the condensed competition.
The Kangaroos recorded a thumping 54-6 win over Mittagong Lions yesterday at Fullwood Reserve to go top of the table, ahead of Oakdale Workers on percentages.
The Workers are the other good story of the competition, after nearly folding last year and then making the finals.
It looks like, so far, 2019 wasn’t a fluke and the Workers are going to be a force in 2020 and beyond.
As MIKE SHEAN reports, Oakdale outlasted Thirlmere Roosters yesterday to win 24-22 in a cliff hanger.
Blustery conditions greeted the teams when they ran on to the field for the start of the clash at Thirlmere Sportsground.
Oakdale’s five eighth Luke Rouland opened the scoring after just four minutes, with both sides still focused on adjusting to the conditions.
Neither side could add to the score in the opening 20 minutes, but shortly after the drinks break Thirlmere five eighth Kurt Falls scored to level the scores, giving the home fans something to cheer about.
Minutes later, Adam Campbell scored a nice solo try, and Thirlmere led 12-6.
Oakdale replied through dummy half Alec Bush who made a solo run, while threatening to offload, but held on to possession and scored himself.
The teams couldn’t be separated at the main break, with a 12-12 scoreline reflecting the tough and hard-fought game being played.
Rouland scored his second try eight minutes after play resumed, restoring Oakdale’s lead, and when Mitchell Gough finished off a nice movement featuring several sets of hands down the Oakdale right, the Workers led by a dozen, with a little over 25 minutes remaining.
The final break with 20 minutes left saw Oakdale lose a man to concussion, with Luke Rouland ruled out for the afternoon, and with the new protocols in place, could face more time on the sideline.
Neither side was willing to give anything in the final minutes and when Veinu Mapesone scored for the home side in the 64th minute, the margin was reduced to just six points.
The grandstand finish ensued when young front-rower Kye Madden scored with four minutes remaining, but Daniel Roberts missed a relatively easy conversion attempt, leaving Oakdale with their noses in front at 24-22, where they remained to the final whistle.
The Workers will be delighted with the win, especially with the growing injury toll, and will be relieved with the bye next weekend, before meeting Campbelltown City in a huge game in two weeks.
Thirlmere will know they missed a chance today, and with the likes of captain coach Jake Mullaney and Jacob Loko on the injured list, they’ll be needing to return to the winners list next week when they meet Campbelltown City at Fullwood Reserve.
RESULTS – ROUND 3 – FIRST GRADE
Thirlmere Roosters 22 Oakdale Workers 24;
Campbelltown City 54 Mittagong Lions 6;
The Oaks Tigers Bye.
Appin Dogs 26 Oakdale 12;
Narellan Jets 32 The Oaks Tigers 10;
Campbelltown City 16 Mittagong 18;
Thirlmere 36 South West Goannas 12.
Appin 4 Camden 18;
Campbelltown City 12 Mittagong 26;
Thirlmere 16 Mt Annan Knights 10.
Campbelltown City 38 Mittagong 4;
Narellan 32 Highlands Storm 0.
City Gold 4 Mittagong 12;
Thirlmere 0 Oakdale 24;
Narellan White 10 The Oaks 8;
Narellan Blue 14 Camden 4.
City Blue Bye.
Mt Annan Knights 0 Camden Rams 38;
Warragamba Wombats 12 Highlands Storm 18;
Oran Park Chargers 4 South West Goannas 40;
NEXT WEEK – ROUND 4 – FIRST GRADE
Campbelltown City v Thirlmere Roosters
Mittagong Lions v The Oaks Tigers
Both matches 3pm on Sunday