The Cooma Red Devils played their last home game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon against ADFA, at Rotary oval and came away with two convincing wins.
First grade took to the field on Saturday afternoon ready to make up for last week's embarrassing loss to Goulburn and with the second spot on the ladder still up for grabs meant that they had a lot to play for. From the opening whistle both sides set about finding each other's strengths and weaknesses. Cooma were looking to play simple footy while ADFA were ready to pounce on any turnovers and counter attack with their speedy outside backs. Cooma was the first side to post points when after some strong runs from Jimmy Nichols, Ben Neilson and Matt Jamieson had Cooma getting across the advantage line. From this Phil Johnson crashed through the defence and scored. Ryan Morgan converted and Cooma had a handy early lead which they soon extended out to 10-0 when Cooma kicked a penalty goal. ADFA responded with an unconverted try after they found room through the Cooma defence. Cooma responded, this time it was Pat Egan who playing in the backs this week found room to move and was able to hold onto the ball after he dropped his first three touches and ran over three would-be tacklers to score. Morgan converted and Cooma had a 17-5 lead. This lead was extended further before halftime when strong runs from Will Nicholls, James Strange and Andrew Rolfe got Cooma into good field position. From this Leighton Bates was able to get over the line. Morgan again converted and the Red Devils went into half time leading 22-5.
After half time Cooma looked to go on the attack further and with Cooma's scrum dominating the oppositions, and with strong defence from Tom Laddams, Ryan Morgan who pulled off a great try saving tackle on the opposition winger, and Eddie Thomas who did everything right in his first grade debut, this strong defence repelled ADFA's attack on numerous occasions. Cooma scored again when Ben Neilson was able to crash over after Bates had been held up on the play before. An unsuccessful conversion gave Cooma a 27-5 lead but after the try Cooma switched off and ADFA scored two converted tries to narrow the lead to 27- 19. Cooma rallied and with Steven Boate barking instructions and good hard running from Pat Egan, Ben Kelly and Brock Robinson got Cooma into good field position. From this Tommy Laddams was able to run straight through the middle of the field and crash over under the posts. A easy conversion saw Cooma lead 34-19. Cooma finished off the afternoon with the try of the season so far. From a scrum five metres out from their own line, the backs pulled off a move and Will Nicholls put Ryan Morgan in a hole and at full pace after he got a good start from the down ramp at the skate park, found himself with only a winger and full back to beat and with the winger falling for a dummy kick. Zing just ran around the fullback and sprinted away and scored a length of the field try. He converted his own try and Cooma ran out winning 41-19. Points in first grade, 1 point the front row of Brock Robinson, James Strange and Andrew Rolfe, 2 points Will Nicholls, 3 points and Players Player Ryan Morgan. Next week Cooma plays Hall at Hall in the last game before finals the following week.
Reserve grade took to the field on Saturday with a close to full strength side ready to make up for last week's heavy defeat to Goulburn. Cooma received the kick off and from the start were confident with the forwards getting across the advantage line allowing the new centre pairing of Damo Allen and Matt Crowley room to bash through the line.
After 15 minutes Cooma was the first side to post points when Neil Schouten was able to pick and drive from 5 metres out and push through the defence and score.
Eddie missed the conversion from nearly in front but Cooma was off to a good start. Cooma was able to extend its lead minutes later when ADFA made a mistake at their own end. Cooma had a handy 10 nil lead.
ADFA hit back with a try of their own, after they capitalised on a Cooma turn over and scored an unconverted try to reduce the lead to 10-5.
The next 10 minutes saw the game even out and good defence from Sam Hand, James Dorahy and Brad Evans stopped ADFA posting further points. Cooma was able to go back on the attack after a strong run and well placed kick from Andrew Stewart got Cooma into good field position.
From this Cooma went on the attack and it was again Ben Schouten who was able to score when Cooma switched back to a blind side raid and Ben brushed past the defence to score.
Matt Crowley converted and Cooma went into half time leading 17-5. After half time Cooma stepped up its intensity and with strong runs from David Bodycott, Matt Perkins and Chris Roberson got Cooma into good field position, this gave Cooma the chance to post more points and from a quick tap Nester combined with his brother and put Ben over under the posts, Crowley converted and Cooma's lead extended out to 24-5.
Cooma crossed again minutes later after ADFA tried a 15 man line out only to give away a penalty and quick thinking from Nathan Boate saw that the ADFA players in a rush to get back to their positions had left the blind open and he was able to find Neil Schouten running down the wing who ran through and scored.
Crowley again converted for a 31-5 lead. Cooma went very close to scoring soon after when Brad Constance on the back of a strong run got tackled only half a meter from the line.
Cooma finished of the afternoon when the backs combined and an offload from Ryan Pritchard to Nathan Boate allowed Boate to put Eddie E Train Thomas over in the corner.
Crowley added the extras and Cooma ran out victorious 38-5.
Points in second grade 1 point Matt Perkins, 2 points was shared between the two Schouten Brothers, 3 points James Dorahy and player's player Eddie Thomas.