Colts Brendan Ryan powers through Frenchville’s defence to score during the second half at Nutley Fields on Saturday.
Colts Brendan Ryan powers through Frenchville’s defence to score during the second half at Nutley Fields on Saturday. Allan Reinikka

Colts battle slippery pitch

THERE was no way Colts was going to allow the Frenchville Pioneers to spoil the 40th anniversary party at the Nutley Fields on Saturday.

While the Pioneers lacked the muscle to push Colts out of the match the young team did put together a far tidier team effort than they had the week when beating Brothers, before going down 35-5.

However, the main winner on the day was the weather with surface water on some areas of the pitch and the ball reduced to the status of a bar of soap.

Consequently errors abounded but that did not prevent Colts from getting back on track, coming off the back of last week's loss to Dawson Valley.

The teams were playing for the Doctors' Shield, a trophy commemorating the work done by Doctors Primmer and Nutley who were instrumental in establishing rugby union in Central Queensland.

It was fitting that both were at the game and Doctor Nutley, who is a Colts man, got the right to present the trophy to Colts captain Steve Benson.

A key part of the Colts game is their forwards and while Frenchville did reasonably well in the scrum they lacked the pace and physical presence when it came to the breakdown.

As always Tom Hale stood out, until injuring an ankle, showing some good handling skills in the difficult conditions.

At full back Mitchell Smith's kicking game frustrated Pioneers while Manny Robb displayed athleticism in winning a good share of line out ball.

By half time Colts led by 21-0 through tries from Joe Collins-Soo, Mitch Lauga and Scott McPherson, all converted by Smith.

The first 15 minutes of the second spell was all Frenchville and they had Colts camped on their own line, even crossing once only to lose the ball before touch down.

As often happens after a period of intense pressure it was Colts that scored the next points as Brendan Ryan pushed away would-be tacklers in a 20 metre dash that got him over the line.

Frenchville managed a late try only for Jason Larcombe to score the final try of the day for Colts.

Colts manager Ross Webley said coach Frank Busby had laid down the law prior to the game.

“They had needed a bomb under them and they responded pretty well,” he said.

For the Pioneers full back Michael Steere was again very solid.

University coach Lachlan McMurtrie had difficulty taking too many positives out of his team's 14-8 loss at Gladstone.

“It was pretty sloppy,” he said.

“Dan Lewis didn't make a mistake.”

As Lewis was the water carrier one could only hope he got it right.

However, McMurtrie was happy with the way Jono Bradbury performed.

“He was fantastic, they didn't want to tackle him, Jono should be playing for the Reds,” he said.

Bradbury scored the University try while full back Daniel Hooper kicked a penalty.

Poor old Blackwater didn't know what hit them at Rugby Park with Dawson Valley cruising to a 46-0 victory.

“It was a clinical display,” Drovers coach Jack Wright said.

The coach is not taking credit for the win as he said the players threw the plan away and adopted a “dry weather” game.

Wright said he didn't mind as the ball stuck in players' hands as Dawson Valley rattled up seven tries.

Cam McDouall, Dave McLenaghan and Mick Chaplin scored two tries each and Dan Hayes the other while half back Alex Raguse topped off a good performance by kicking four conversions and a penalty.

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