It certainly wasn’t the first time and probably won’t be the last time either, but Josh Webb was again breaking hearts on a Friday night, this time sinking the Royal Devils to a last play loss at Twickenham.
After leading 15-12 with less than a minute remaining, the Devils handed over possession, giving the Bowlie Bears one last roll of the dice.
As the clock wound down to show only 10 seconds remaining, Bears stalwart Tim Roberts found himself with the ball.
The front rower was patient though, drawing in defenders on the right edge before finding Webb with a beautiful short ball.
Webb would eventually sprint half the field, outpacing chasers and scoring the game winner, whilst helping Bowlie to their first win of the competition.
Webb, who was a massive difference maker for the Bears, didn’t want to focus on his individual performance and instead found positives in the team’s victory.
“It was good to get the win that’s for sure,” Webb said.
“It helps build confidence in the team and a bit of momentum heading into the next few rounds.
“We stuck to our game plan this week and it paid off.”
The known finisher and pub 9s performer, who scored two tries in the Bowlies round three victory, still believes the Bears can make a run at the top four, despite losing their first two matches to Woolpack and Adelong.
“We have played two of the harder teams in the first rounds of play, so I feel like we have an easier draw,” Webb said.
“There’s been a few upsets and anything can happen in the short period of play.”
Bowlie will have to continue improving ahead of Friday night too with a tough match against the strong Star Redmen followed by an easier match against the winless Oriental Colts.
Young gun shines in Roosters demolition
Woolpack winger Hunter Lee is just at another level when it comes to the 2020 Tumut Pub 9s.
The 16-year-old, who hasn’t played competitive rugby league since the under 14s, has been a shining light in a Roosters lineup that boasts so much attacking potential.
During the Roosters dominant 38-4 victory over the struggling Oriental Colts, Lee scored three times, including an incredible try five minutes into the first half. Lee leapt into the air, snatching the ball from a kick off, before demonstrating blistering pace to sprint 35m and score.
The strong Roosters result has competitors labeling them as the short price favourites to win.
Despite this, skipper Tommy Jeffery was just pleased with the win and was more focused on playing footy.
“All the boys were pretty happy,” he said.
“We were a bit dissapinted that we didn’t get a another game in but we’re happy with the night’s results.”
Jeffery did make reference to Jack Hillier, offering his sympathy, especially after the young second rower caused headaches for the Woolpack defence.
“It was a shame the way the game finished with young Jacko getting injured,” he said.
“He had a ripper game and was well deserved of the try he scored.”
The Woolpack will be expected to earn an early win on Friday, when they take on the struggling Sharks before a tougher test against Tumbarumba.
Gallant Greens account for busted Batlow
It was a battle of attrition as Batlow and Tumbarumba went blow for blow in a very physical Pub 9s match at Twickenham on Friday night.
Batlow, who were plagued by injury, would eventually succumb to their heated rivals Tumbarumba, 8-4.
James Turner scored the first for the Greens before powerhouse forward Clayton Griffiths made it 8-nil, after crossing over for a well-deserved try.
Batlow did hit back with Ben Adams crossing and had every chance to win the game in the final seconds of the game.
Unfortunately, instead of spreading the ball wide, a Batlow runner was caught in possession, helping Tumbarumba to a tense victory.
Both teams definitely showed their worth to the competition but Batlow will be dealing with mounting injury concerns.
Jesse Bellchambers suffered a knee injury early in the match, while bustling forward Ben Adams is likely to miss the rest of the season after an ankle injury.
Tige’’s vice president Steve Stuenkel was frustrated after the fixture, explaining that Batlow should’ve won the game.
“It was disappointing, the boys can player better than that,” he said.
Stuenkel is now worried numbers could become an issue as the competition progresses into rounds four and five.
“It’s now concerning because we have two players potentially out and we only have one marquee player after Matt Henery was told he couldn’t play,” he said.
Adelong surprise Star in defensive display
Tumut Pub 9s officials used an unorthodox approach on Friday night to make sure the Adelong Green and Gold and Star Redmen could get their game underway.
There was a delay in kick off due to Jack Hillier remaining prone on the ground after he injured his elbow in the game prior.
Subsequently, officials reduced the width of the field by approximately 10 metres but still kept the same length of the field.
As a result, tries were much harder to come by and the attacking prowess of both the Green and Gold and Redmen was nullified in what turned out to be a terrific defensive display.
It would be a first half try to Dan Lucas that was converted by Tate O’Donovan that would prove the difference, with Adelong emerging victorious six-nil.
Despite only one try being scored, both teams had a handful of attacking raids on the oppositions goal line but resilient defence proved the difference, with the Green and Gold stopping the likes of Michael Clark, Lewis Arragon and Hammo Clear only inches from the line.
Adelong skipper Tyron Gorman was pleased after the match, citing his side’s defensive effort as the reason behind the impressive victory.
“It was a good win,” he said.
“I was really happy with our defensive effort and the boys really dug in to get the job done.”
Gorman, who is new to the pub 9s format, is happy with Adelong’s start, especially with the Green and Gold sitting in third place after three rounds.
“Two from three is a pretty good start but it is still a long way to go and we are just enjoying being a part of it and representing Adelong,” he said.
Adelong have a big chance of moving up the ladder this Friday, with fixtures against the struggling Colts and the injury-ravished Tigers.
On the other hand, Redmen will have one tough fixture against the improving Bowlie Bears before a fifth round bye.