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The NSW Country Cockatoos left the Brumbies Provincial team in the cold this weekend as they leapt ahead to a 50-34 victory at Viking Park, taking their second win of the season.
Head Coach Mat Thomas was pleased by his side’s effort on Sunday night, but said that it wasn’t just the playing 23 who put in the hard yards.
“The NSW Country Cockatoos chalked up the second win of their representative season,” said Thomas.
“Whilst the Country boys are playing a hard and fast-free flowing style of Rugby, it’s the extra effort being put in to keep NSW Country Rugby strong that has all involved happy that the weekend was a success.”
Both teams faced bitterly cold conditions in Canberra on Sunday but the Cockatoos prevailed. Brumbies Provincial XV hit the ground running and led his committed team until the 31st minute before the Cockatoos kicked into gear to set up 16-point lead at half time.
No doubt a half-time team talk kicked the Brumbies Provincial’s back into focus as they came into the second half pressing hard. They took advantage of the Cockatoos lineout, which was slightly off, and misdirected kicks continued to invite the Brumbies back into the match.
The Cockatoos backline worked hard to make headway against the determined Brumbies defence and their forwards continued to attack, seeing them close the score line to 13 with just 11 minutes left on the clock.
The Cockatoos, determined for the win, made metres up the middle line throughout the match with lock forwards Brennan and Ryan, and props McNamara and Papworth all prominent. Hooker McInnes and Flanker Tuala were outstanding in both attack and defence, covering kilometres of ground over the 80 minutes.
Reflecting back on the match, Cockatoos Head Coach Mat Thomas thinks they can add to the entire game day experience when they next take on Queensland Country.
“The Country Cockatoos are looking to play games with the Country Colts and Country Women’s (Corellas) teams to give the fixtures the full NSW Country Rugby experience,” said Thomas.
"The senior boys played with the Colts two weeks ago, where they beat NSW Suburban, and they are heading to Newcastle on the 1st July to play Qld Country in both Colts & Seniors in a much-anticipated clash.”
To top it all off, the Cockatoos spent time with the NSW Country U17s and U18s representative sides in a series of skills and drills sessions, which gave another layer of support and intensity that the aspiring Cockatoos can take forward in their respective matches.
Both head coach Matt, and Cockatoos captain, Paul Tuala, were very keen to spend time with the 17s and 18s and the entire squad spent over an hour with the teams honing their skills.
In their grand finale of the representative season, the Cockatoos will host Queensland Country in Newcastle on July 1st to find out who once and for all are the kings of country.
NSW Country Cockatoos 50 defeated Brumbies Provincial 34
H/T score: 29-13
F/T score: 50 - 34
Tries: Bainivalu 2, Krause 2, McInnes, McNamara, Richardson.
Cons: Arthur 3. Pens Arthur 2, Sherratt
Man of the Match: Paul Tuala