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GAME 1 The Eastern Suburbs Wombat's commenced the defence of their 2010 premiership, with a hard fought 20-12 victory over a determined Country North Cowboy outfit. Led by veteran forward, Matt Lehmann, the Wombat's capitalised on some Cowboys mistakes to gain field position and graft a victory. County North unearthed an excitement machine in fullback Brenton Cochrane who sidestepped his way through five defenders to score on two separate occasions.
Cowboys forward Cameron Paine bumps off a determined Eastern Suburbs Wombat player.
The Cowboys about to train.
GAME 2. This game was a battle of the 'Bush'. The country south Boars were fired up to challenge their country North brothers. Led around the park by a slick half back in Gavin Lennon, the Boars were here to play. The Cowboys however wanted to win at all costs and provided a spirited display. After a slick back line movement, Mick Gentle dived into the corner after receiving a clever pass from Dylan Coleman missing the touch line by centimetres. Just before half time, Cowboys half Ryan Eckersley accelerated through a gap scoring next to the right hand upright, Damien Thom converted as the halftime siren sounded and the Cowboys went into the sheds leading by ten points to nil. In the second half the Boars had a lot more field position and hard running by the forward pack and backs Ryan Simpson and Peter Mortimer, brought them deep into Cowboy territory. Centre Steve Monaghan scored a try which was converted and the score was now 10-6. The remainder of the second half was an arm wrestle, Cowboys forwards kept the middle tight and defended aggressively. Aaron 'Boof' Weatherley was inspiration in his strong running and went on to claim the man of the match. No more points were scored and the Cowboys enjoyed their win.
Bob Davidson and Greg Ryan tackle a Country South Boar player.
Cowboy flyer Brenton Cochrane makes a break.
The Cowboy defence was rock hard.
The score of this game was important for the MaCarthur Bulls as well as the Cowboys. The Bulls only needed to win to secure a place in the grand final whilst the Cowboys had to win by more that sixteen points. This situation occurred day three rounds were washed out due to a wild thunderstorm causing the Committee to look for a fair way to give all teams still a chance to make the grand final.
This game was played in humid conditions and the ground was soft from the previous days rain. The Bulls were first to score followed up by another try before half time. Bulls hooker Robbie Mears was slick and clever around the ruck area and set up the initial try before scoring one himself. One of the tries was converted and the Bulls led ten nil at half time. The Cowboys looked fantastic with the ball but a few dropped passes turned the momentum the Bulls way. In the second half the Bulls pinned the Cowboys in their first half after a deep kick off and scored shortly after when gaining their first attacking set. The Cowboys were asked to give their all for the remaining fourteen minutes and didn't let the crowd down. Inspirational Cowboy lock and skipper Greg Ryan scored first after a fantastic attacking raid led by Eckersley, Cochrane and Coleman. The Cowboys grew ten feet and the enthusiasm used in the first set of six off the kickoff got them deep in Bull territory. Shortly after halfback Eckersley backed up on the back of inspiration forward running by Weatherley, Paine and Morris to score under the posts. Damien Thom converted and all of a sudden the Cowboys could sense a comeback. Another attacking raid by the Cowboys from the kickoff saw another fantastic backline movement, Dylan Coleman scored, Thom converted and the score is locked at sixteen points all. The Cowboys continued with their enthusiasm led by great forward running, but the Bulls scored under the posts to make the score twenty points to sixteen. The Cowboys ran out of time, and good luck to the Bulls who have progressed to the Grand final.
Aaron 'Boof' Weatherley wins his successive Country North 'player of the carnival' and is photographed with his greatest fan club, his three children at the penthouse deck of the El Paso motel, the regular accommodation for the cowboys. Aaron was also on cloud nine learning he an fellow Cowboy, fullback Dylan Coleman had been selected in the NSW Police side to take on the Queensland Police team at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane on June the 6th. This game will be played as a curtain raiser before the third State of Origin clash.
Dylan Coleman shown on the fly against the Boars. Dylan also gained selection in the NSW Police Rugby League team for 2011.