Walcha A grade Rugby team go through to the semi-finals

Round 16 vs Gunnedah 

Walcha hosted Gunnedah in the final home game of the season after a tough but fruitful couple of weeks on the road. Gunnedah had taken the points in both fixtures in Round 1 so the Walcha boys were looking for revenge. Reggies fielded a full side and long bench which was great to see but Gunnedah proved to be a very tough opponent.

Walcha scored the first try through Steve Eveleigh as they have in almost every game this season but Gunnedah were able to hit back quickly leaving the score at 7-5 midway through the first half. Mr versatile Charlie McGowan playing at 13 this week scored Walcha’s second try. Charlie Uren was clearly enjoying playing without a hangover but the same couldn’t be said for Cameron Norbury who was still suffering his itchy elbow. Gideon Kelly spent most of the game smiling at his opposition but offered a fair bit in defence as well.

Fraser Evans sat down his opposite winger in a huge tackle but to no avail as Gunnedah managed to score again to take the score to 12-all at half time. The score did not change for almost the entire second half but eventually, Steve Eveleigh as able to break the deadlock with a penalty goal to deliver Walcha its sixth win of the season with the final game against Scone at Scone this weekend.

Best for Walcha were Steve Eveleigh with 1 point, 2 points to jock Fortescue, 3 points to Charlie Uren and player’s player to Sam Colwell playing inside centre.

A Grade took to the field against another team who we felt we should have beaten in the first round and also the last team that Walcha had lost to. Boasting a very big forward pack, Walcha knew they could not allow them to get a roll on and so things started well when Walcha had some solid field position and although the Gunnedah defence held firm, Simon Newton put over a couple of penalty goals to see Walcha leading 6-0 after 15 minutes.

Ed Cordingley was able to open the scoring after some great pressure from Jake Sherrin out wide forced a Gunnedah mistake and he soccered the ball through for Cordingley to score. Gunnedah hit back soon after with Walcha inviting them back into the contest through a string of errors and conceded penalties. A charge down from the kick-off saw Walcha in some great field position and the backs were able to finish the job, with a nice alley-oop from Simon Newton finding Dom Bower who coasted through untouched taking the half time score to 20-5 to Walcha.

With Gunnedah staging a comeback against Moree last weekend to steal a draw, Walcha knew the second half would not come easily and so it proved, more through Walcha mistakes and penalties than anything else. Gunnedah scored first after half time after enjoying the lions share of possession. Walcha felt we weren’t far away and when Jake Sherrin crossed in the corner after Walcha finally put some phases together, the tables had turned.

Simon Newton went the old Ed Churchill style pick and go to score under the posts and Sherrin soon had his double after some exciting moments where on separate occasions, both props (Ross Fletcher and Mike Whitton) found themselves in space down the can van touchline but neither had quite the finishing prowess of Beavis. The final play of the game was another backline break when Simon Newton fired a long cut-out ball to Ed Cordingley who burnt the chasers and then found Dom Bower in support with Dom sending it to Henry King who finished off the movement. The final score was 44-12 to Walcha with Walcha’s best being another Mr Versatile Harry Locke getting 1 point with Thor Crombie, 2 for Sione Kamoto and 3 points and players player to Simon Newton.

The final game of the regular season for Walcha will be away to Scone where a bonus point win will guarantee a home semi final on the 25th of August so plenty to play for and we hope to see as many supporters as possible down there.