The Bowral Kookaburras masters rugby league team made their inaugural debut recently.
After many weeks of intensive training, the team travelled to the of Young, on the south west slopes of NSW.
After a few training sessions, former NRL, English International, and now Bowral masters rugby league coach Harvey Howard, succumbed to an ongoing knee injury and is recovering after an operation.
Chris Shea, who has been a member and coach of the Bowral junior rugby league for some years now, took over from Harvey and led a squad of 18 players to compete in three games over the two day Young carnival.
Chris, a former first grade player from the Young Cherry Pickers and Batemans Bay, represented the Bowral Club in the Masters City versus Country match, also held at the Young carnival.
Chris did not disappoint his former home town crowd, and rann two early tries for the Country team in their win over the city boys.
The inaugural 18 man Bowral Masters squad comprised the following players:
Andrew Murdock, Peter Howard, Chris Boggs, Ian Ford, Peter Hamilton, Andrew Sabidussi, Col Clarson, Luke McKinnon, Daniel Ismail, Ian Disher, Tim Manchester, Mick Galvin, Jason Dawes, Peter Dunn, Chris Shea, Greg Mackay, Steve Thorn and Rob Gallina.
The first match against Orange was a real test for the team. Many of the Bowral boys had not picked up a rugby league ball for quite a number of years. The Orange team played a strong game and provided a good initiation for the Kookaburras.
The Kookaburras first try went to former Bowral flyer Ian Disher. He picked up a trademark intercept before he ooutpaced the Orange defenders to score Bowral’s first points.
Ian Ford was strong up the middle of the ruck and well-supported by Andrew Murdoch, who relished the chance to pack into the scrum and get his hands on a football again. Mick Galvin unfortunately suffered a hamstring injury and was forced to spend the weekend on the bench.
The Orange boys had too much class for the Bowral team, and ran out deserved victors.
The much improved Kookaburra outfit took the field against the Murringo Mongrels in the second game.
Half back Peter Dunn finally got some quality ball, and produced a number of great attacking plays that resulted in tries to Ian Disher and newcomer Tim Manchester.
Chris Boggs, Andrew Sabidussi and a very fit Col Clarson combined well in attack. Veteran Steve Thorn displayed very strong defence against his Murringo opponents to keep the score in Bowral’s favour.
Rob Gallina, provided some great inroads into the Murringo defence but was caught in an absolute copy book tackle by former Mittagong boy and head Murringo, David Goulder. Goulder’s tackle gave Gallina two cracked ribs.
Greg McKay made the play of the day in the second half when he straemed down the right hand touch line and beat two defenders. McKay was on his way to a try time celebration before a Murringo Mongrel appeared and tackled him over the side line.
From the ensuing scrum though, the Kookaburras won the ball against the feed and after great lead up work by Peter Dunn, Luke McKinnon scored a great try on the opposite side of the field to seal the match for the Kookaburras with a 3-1 victory.
Bowral’s final match was against Forbes.
Bowral played a fairly tight match in the first half. Daniel Ismail showed his fitness and made some good runs up the centre and lead the way in the forwards.
It was the younger blokes though, Chris Shea and Tim Manchester, that came up with the right combinations to put on three tries for the Kookaburras. But Forbes hit back to finish off with a 5 -3 victory.
The Bowral Rugby League Master will continue to train once a week throughout the year. The Bowral Club welcomed new and any older Bowral players to join with the squad. For more information, or to join the squad, contact Peter on 0429 043 556.