The Harden Devils hosted the West Wyalong Weevils for Ladies Day last Saturday at Roberts Park.
With Adam Walsh straining a calf muscle putting his socks on, the pressure to lead the forwards was on Clint Stevens, and he delivered. Despite a much smaller pack, the Devils’ two tries through the forwards gave them a 14-0 lead. Seagull Sachs scored one try while a great angled line run by Clint Stevens broke his eight-year try drought.
The Weevils fought back strongly, maintaining possession, with great forward running drawing five consecutive penalties. Slotting two penalties and with a try out wide, West Wyalong pegged the score back to 14-11.
The Devils regrouped and managed to turn over possession. Ben Lenahan took a run down a wide blind side and put the trailing Jessie Redmond over beside the posts. After Jack O’Connor’s try the Devils were leading at half time 28-21.
With a few extra subs, Harden dominated possession in the second half. Danny Flannery swooped on a loose ball at the base of the ruck and stepped through the line, crossing under the posts for the first of his two tries. Billy Bolger scored the last try of the day backing up great break from Ben Lenahan.
The final score 49-21 was not a true reflection of the close game. Player’s player went to Toby Haydon who was everywhere on the paddock and defended brilliantly while three points went to Clint Stevens in his best game of the year.
Two points to Ben Lenahan who was a handful for West Wyalong, kicking an amazing seven from seven, and one point to Shahid Khalfan who is playing consistently well.
“We got on top early but relaxed and let them back into the game. They had some big forwards and got on top of us in the scrum though they did tire towards the end. I was happy with our defence in that we didn’t leak any points in the second half and it was always aggressive.
“A few times they were surprised when our smaller blokes picked them up and drove them backwards. I’m looking forward to see Two-Tries Flannery travel to Temora next week,” Coach Walsh said.
The next game and last of round one is away at current premiers, Temora.