THE Moruya Sharks reserve grade side showed tremendous resolve and “plain old-fashioned guts” to record a 14-6 victory over Cooma at Cooma Showground.
Running into the strong wind in the first half, Moruya struck early when Craig Cottington scored a solo try after chasing down a kick and stealing the ball from two bemused Cooma defenders.
It was the only score of a grinding first stanza, as Cooma camped themselves near the Sharks try line for long periods of the first half.
“The Sharks threw up a near impregnable brick wall to stifle their bigger and hard running opponents and showed outstanding cover defence on the few occasions the wall was breached,” club spokesman Ian Traynor said.
The Sharks played wounded in the second half when Geoff McWhinney went out with a knee injury, and then Aaron Russell with a shoulder injury.
An early Stallions try in the
second half had them leap ahead 6-4 but the Sharks quickly regained control of the match.
Shaun Staples got the Sharks back in the lead in the 52nd minute with a superb finish and then Ned Brogan sealed the game in the 70th minute, charging through the tiring Cooma forwards for a try.
Nathan McDiamid converted for a 14-6 lead and the game was all but over.
Traynor said it was the courage displayed by the team which impressed Sharks fans who watched from a cold and windy sideline.
“Jeff Gamble was inspirational, playing with the flu and big men Ely Breen, McDiamid and James McKay all contributed while playing sick or hurt,” Traynor said.
“Cottington and Troy Potts refused to come off, both playing significant roles with niggling leg injuries.
“There was none better in attack and defence than pocket battleship Brett Ayton. He was inspirational to Brogan, Will Roqica and Lachlan Jones who ripped into their much bigger opponents.”
Traynor said captain/coach Juy Cooper marshalled his troops well.
“Merv Brierley was his usual busy self and a special mention must go to Chadd Williams who played his best game for the Sharks,” Traynor said.
“He owned the last 10 minutes of the game, making half a dozen gut-busting runs when his team- mates were struggling to the ball.”
The Sharks reserve grade has two more away games before they get another home game.
Next week they travel down to Bemboka for a clash with the Panthers, who are struggling with a large injury list.