The Broulee Dolphins travelled up the mountain to take on Cooma in the U13s on Saturday.
A bitterly cold wind and near sleet at times was in stark contrast to the beautiful 22 degrees the coast had experienced on Friday.
Both teams were a bit short in numbers, so a league-like 13 players each ran on to Rotary Oval.
The Cooma team were keen to sink their teeth into the game after having not played for a month, and after some good ball control by the forwards in the middle of the park, Bailey Rogers was able to skirt some thin defence out wide, and sprint away for one of his trademark tries.
The next 10 minutes or so saw some great runs made up the middle by prop Nic Coote, and with the other forwards controlling possession pretty well, Bailey was again able to put the ball under the posts.
Russ Haylock converted from in front. Unfortunately, the first half was brought to an early conclusion when one of the Broulee players received a head-knock in a legal tackle. Medical attention was on hand immediately, and as a precaution he was taken to hospital. Cooma 12, Broulee 0 at half-time.
The second half began with Cooma's pack well in control, and the long-striding Rhys Sopniewski started to make plenty of metres with some great runs up field. He was rewarded for his efforts with two tries, Bailey was able to add the extras and convert one of those. Broulee decided to show their true colours, and were able to also put on two tries in quick time, with one successful conversion.
Not to be outdone, the Red Devils tackling lifted, with Zac van der Plaat working hard despite being barrelled by some big Dolphins. Ibby, Justin, Aramis and the rest of the forwards also tackled well.
Nic and Rhys just kept on running the ball up, and a try was narrowly missed when Bailey offloaded to Russ who was just unable to ground the ball.
Nic Coote did get over the line for a well-earned try, a fitting result for his many tackle-breaking runs.
Will Cahill kicked the goal to add the two extras.
This brought up the final score of 31-12 to Cooma. Harry Litchfield defended well from the five-eighth position, Russ put on a couple of good tackles late in the match.
It was good to see three of the younger boys in Musa, Tristan and Luke trying hard as well. Points this week were as follows; Rhys 3, Nic 2, Zac and Bailey 1 each. Thanks to Bede for reffing the game.
With a bit of work at training in getting to the breakdown quicker, and as a result securing the ball more, Cooma should be able to prevent some of the turnovers that saw Broulee get their tries.
This will be very important against the Canberra sides who will have full teams on the paddock.
It will also pay to careful not to give away penalties for ruck and maul infringements, yellow cards make it very hard to stop tries.
Uni-Norths come to Cooma next week, best of luck for then.