Drovers' defence holds firm

IT IS not too often the mighty Colts get rolled but the perennial champions of the Thrifty premiership were forced to accept a loss on Sunday when downed by Dawson Valley Drovers.

These are testing times for the players, with some backing up from the Brahmans games on Saturday.

Drovers coach Jack Wright admitted Colts were without a number of regulars but also pointed out that he was also missing up to nine players who would be in the selected 20 for an A-grade game.

For Wright, the 20-10 win was a credit to his Drovers players but said it was too early to start shouting about taking the Colts' crown.

“Colts are still the benchmark,” he said.

The boot of halfback Alex Raguse was a telling factor as he scored 15 of the Drovers' points from penalties.

Wright was particularly happy with the Drovers' defence which stood firm in the face of a typical Colts onslaught.

Drovers captain Steven Priddle had a great game at flanker, while regular reserve player Nick Ein has made it difficult for Wright to leave him out of the first 15.

“He stepped up for the first time as a starting lock,” Wright said.

While Raguse kicked points with his boot, the one try scored by Drovers was collected by flying winger Cameron Doherty, who went over in the corner.

Colts' points came from a try, a penalty and a conversion.

Wright said the win came on the back of a lot of hard work at the club with more than 40 players turning out for training at Moura, up to 20 of these travelling from Rockhampton.

Next Saturday the Drovers have another difficult game when they travel to Gladstone, while Colts face Frenchville at Ryan Park.

When the Frenchville Pioneers have all their first-choice back-line players available they are a difficult team to beat.

On Sunday the Pioneers blew away Brothers in the first half to eventually win their clash at Rugby Park 44-25. With players such as Zac Moss, Ash Kris and Rob Chelepy at their disposal, the Frenchville team is always capable of playing exciting rugby even though their style might make a purist wince.

Brothers had few answers in the first half and even though they reduced the score in the second, late tries to the Pioneers ensured the victory.

Neither Blackwater nor Gladstone could field a team and agreed on calling the match a draw.

THRIFTY A-GRADE

Results of games played on Sunday.

Dawson Valley Drovers 20 def Colts 10.

Frenchville 44 def Brothers 25

Blackwater v Gladstone-Clubs agreed it should be called a draw as neither had a full team.



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