Deniliquin’s dream run in the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition has come to an end.
The Drovers went down to Wagga Waratahs 19-9 in an enthralling second grade battle at Conolly Rugby Complex in Wagga on Saturday.
Wagga led 12-9 with a about 10 minutes to play, before Deniliquin winger Sam Tuliau was yellow carded for an alleged high tackle. The home side was able to capitalise on their opponents being a man down, and scored to seal the win.
Drovers coach Warwick Strong said the success of his side is now in the hands of his players.
“It’s up to the boys now,” Strong said.
“It all comes down to how committed they want to be when it comes to training.
“They’ve proven they have the ability – we were physically in Saturday’s match – but we haven’t trained together for a couple weeks now.
“You can’t afford that in this competition, you really have to train as a full side to be able to win week-in, week-out.”
Drovers captain and five-eighth Jack Ellice-Flint score his side’s only points with three penalty goals.
Waratahs scored two tries in the first half to hold a 12-6 advantage at the break.
Ellice-Flint narrowed the margin to 12-9 mid-way through the second half and the match was there for the taking.
“We were a man down in the last 10 minutes and they just took advantage,” Strong said.
“They are a classy side and deserved the win.
“It’s not as if we were never in the game though. We just lacked cohesion and missed a few tackles which led to their tries.”
Ellice-Flint was awarded the three votes as best player afield. Tom Rose scored two, while Scott Ison and Bernard Schoeman shared one each.
Utility Reed Jackson was named Players’ Player after a dominant display in the centres. Ellice-Flint also managed to pick up the Dog Award for his off-field antics.
Deniliquin hosts Temora at Memorial Park this Saturday. Full details will be in Friday’s Pastoral Times.