Caleb Hewitt evaded the Mudgee Wombat defenders to score a crucial try for Parkes Boars Colts yesterday. sub
A piece of late brilliance from Parkes front-rower Iszac Oliver has helped Parkes take a late victory over Mudgee to keep their Central West Rugby Union Colts season alive.
Having led for much of the game though never with a lead bigger than a handful of points, Parkes suddenly found themselves under the pump as Mudgee levelled the scores at 17-all with seven minutes to play.
Substitute winger Matt Burgess had made a dashing run down the left edge to score and though the goal was missed, Mudgee had given themselves a chance to at least force the game to extra time or pick up a late win.
Oliver was having none of it though.
After Parkes took possession from a Mudgee clearing kick, they chanced their arm and the ball found itself with the tight-head prop, who was only a metre or two in from the left touch-line.
He opted to run it down the short side, and before he was pushed into touch he produced a deft left-foot chip infield which sat perfectly for fly-half Caleb Hewitt, who took it on the bounce and scored.
With two minutes on the clock Mudgee did earn one last crack at the Boars but an infringement at the back of their scrum cost them possession and ensured that Parkes stay alive.
They will now meet Dubbo ‘Roos next week in the minor semi-final.
“It was a pretty special piece of work to finish, Iszac is always capable of that sort of thing,” Parkes coach Fine Latu said.
“We are lucky that none of us here on the bench had a heart attack.
“They scare us every week.
“We’ve had some niggling injuries for a while now, and some of our best players probably aren’t fully fit but we can’t really afford to give them a rest.
“It was a big effort from everyone today.”
Earlier Mudgee had opened the scoring 12 minutes into the match courtesy of Tom O’Leary though Riley Byrne hit back eight minutes later with the Boars’ first, with Hewitt’s conversion giving them a 7-5 advantage.
Jonah Poppe put Mudgee back in front with a converted try in the 26th minute as the game continued to fluctuate, but a five-pointer to Myles Smith on the stroke of half-time would prove vital to Parkes’ victory.
Hewitt added the extras to give them a 14-12 lead at the break.
When play resumed neither side were able to capitalise on some good attacking opportunities though the majority of them belonged to Mudgee.
Against the run of play, Hewitt put over a penalty to give his team a five-point lead, only for Burgess’ try to set up the nail-biting finish.
“The boys put in a big effort, there were a couple of decisions that went our way that we failed to capitalise on and a couple of things that we could have done differently,” Wombats coach Tim Burgess said.
“It was a good piece of play from their prop that set up the game-winning try.
“I’m still very happy though, it is our first year back in the competition and we should be better again next year.”
PARKES BOARS 22 (Caleb Hewitt, Riley Byrne, Myles Smith tries; Hewit 2 conversions, penalty) defeated MUDGEE WOMBATS 17 (Tom O’Leary, Matt Burgess, Jonah Poppe tries; Nick Rosamond conversion).
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