The Under 18 Cooma Stallions took on the ladder leading Bega Roosters at the Cooma Showground last Sunday, knowing a win would cement second spot on the ladder and a major preliminary final game.
The Stallions got off to a poor start by kicking out on the full from the kick off, and although Bega failed to find touch from the ensuing penalty, the Stallions then dropped the ball on the next set, which allowed the Roosters to pressure the Stallions defence and if not for a try saving tackle by Austin Riley, would have scored.
A Stallions error close to their own line allowed the Roosters to post first points through a try to lead 4-0.
The Stallions soaked up plenty of pressure from the Roosters attack early, but to their credit kept them from scoring. In the 22nd minute the Stallions worked a move from a scrum and spread the ball where Aaron Pidcock found a gap in the Roosters defence and got the ball to Daniel Douch in support.
He was able to scoot down the side line and passed back into Aaron Pidcock who scored beside the posts and following the conversion, the Stallions led 6-4.
Shortly after the Stallions worked their way down field, and spread the ball left and found Austin Willis, who was able to dive over and score the Stallions second try and increase their lead to 10-4.
In the final minute of the first half the Roosters were able to score a try after placing pressure on the Stallions defence. The Stallions led 10-8 at half time.
Early in the second half the Stallions again had trouble with their ball control, putting themselves under pressure early, and although they maintained their intensity in defence, they allowed the Roosters their third try and surrendered the lead to trail by 14-10.
The next ten minutes saw the Stallions denied a try through a dropped ball, another dubious penalty to the Roosters and a Roosters try after running the ball on the last tackle and scoring in the left hand corner to increase their lead to 20-10.
The final quarter of the match saw both sides pushing themselves in both attack and defence without being able to score. The score did not change and at the final siren Bega ran out winners by 20-10.
The Stallions Players Player went to Austin Willis who had a magnificent game with his punishing defence and strong running in attack.