An Emerald Rams attacker fronts the Moranbah Bulls defence.
An Emerald Rams attacker fronts the Moranbah Bulls defence.

Battle lines drawn in face-off

TRUE to their word, Capella Cattledogs kept the old boys happy with an 18-nil win over Clermont Bushpigs in the Central Highlands competition.

Club members past and present braved the elements to celebrate 20 years of Cattledog rugby and witness the modern-day Capella side grind out what their playing president Tim Reeves described as the “hardest game yet”.

“They smashed us all game and the points we did get only came from a bit of luck,” he said.

“One try was off the scrum base and another one was off some loose play at the back.”

Spectators would have been lucky to see much of the play at all, squinting through the rain from the shelter of the clubhouse. Out on the field, the conditions weren’t much better with much of the play focused squarely on ball control in the greasy conditions.

Ball retention and a lack of possession appeared to be the main reasoning behind Clermont’s disappointing result, despite their much heralded win over the Rams the previous week.

“They (Capella) had us camped on our own goal line for 60 minutes and you can’t win games like that,” Clermont coach Josh Scott said.

“We were making silly handling errors and struggling for clearing kicks and didn’t capitalise on the mistakes when given the opportunity.”

Capella will now take a well-earned week off with a bye before regrouping to face Emerald the following week.

“We certainly need it (the bye). Everybody is still feeling a bit sore and sorry from last weekend,” Reeves said.

Earlier that afternoon, Emerald Rams were lucky to escape with a tight 30-26 win over Moranbah Bulls.

With wave after wave of Moranbah attack, the Rams found themselves on the back-foot and primed to capitulate before a 90m intercept run by Emerald centre Alec Sutherland to score under the posts.

The Bulls again shifted the momentum in their favour in the dying minutes of the second half, with the Rams saved only by the final whistle.

“I think we were pretty lucky in the end,” Rams spokesman Simon Green said.

“They played very well through the forwards and made some good metres and if it wasn’t for some amazing counter attacks and tireless defence, it could have easily been a different story on the scoreboard.”

Close to $5000 was raised for the Capella club through jersey auctions held that evening with many a story to tell of yester-year.

They told how a few ideas at the back of a pub 20 years previously developed into the thriving Central Highlands rugby union club of today.

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