ST GEORGE will enter the second half of the Roma and district rugby league competition sitting comfortably within the top four, following a comprehensive victory over Chinchilla on the club’s annual Ladies Day.

With several games of junior footy happening and a ticketed function set up to recognise the contribution of St George’s women of rugby league, Rowden Park was in full flight by the time the Bulldogs bus rolled into town.

Travelling out to the banks of the Balonne River to take on St George at home is notoriously one of the tougher games of footy to play in the south west.

Despite a slightly depleted squad Chinchilla felt up to the challenge, but from the first set of six it was clear the visitors would be having a tough day in the office.

Under the command of veteran playmaker Sam Davis, St George forwards led by Barney Watts and Josh Cochrane spent much of the first half steamrolling through the middle of the field and wearing out Chinchilla defenders.

St George prop Barney Watts breaks free from a Dan Gleeson tackle. IMAGE: Maxine Hicks

From that platform, the points piled up quickly out wide with two tries from fullback Marcus Cochrane, two from winger Rory Weribone, one from centre Adam Parkes and one from Malcolm Lassere.

An early hamstring injury to Bulldogs halfback Jeff Gilbert didn’t help Chinchilla’s attacking structure when had the football, but by the end of the first 40 minutes the visitors had rallied in defence and begun to find holes in St George’s defence.

Having shifted into pivot from his original position of inside centre, Matt Hart put a clever grubby through for a Declan Bell try and then slotted the conversion from out wide to bring the half time score 34-6.


Chinchilla coach Tim Keating told his players at half time “if we start turning those big fellas around and keep the ball in hand we could go a long way to closing that gap”.

There was a big defensive effort from the Bulldogs over the second 40 minutes, particularly from dummy half Hayden Bender and second rower Billy Playstead, but it was too little too late.

Chinchilla won the second half with two tries over St George’s one, but a continual bruising from St George’s tough forward pack and a strong conversion rate by second rower Barry Tapau-Fewquandie prevented any real scoreboard threat from Chinchilla.

In the end it read 40-18 to St George.

Bulldogs fullback Romada Barnes, met by St George defenders Adam Parkes and Rory Weribone. IMAGE: Maxine Hicks

“It was a good start to the game. I think we got a bit excited at half time and slowed down for a bit there in that second half,” said St George coach and player Andrew Hart, who was off injured.

“I’ve got a dodgy hip. I’m 26 going on 56. They didn’t really need me today and I figured I was probably best suited on the sideline.

“We really worked for each other in that first half. We completed our sets well, just played good footy and came up with the result. 

“We defended well too, but we’ve just got to learn to stick it together for 80 minutes.”

St George will travel to Roma in a fortnight’s time to commence the second round of the competition while Chinchilla will host the Miles Devils.


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