Warwick halfback Ryan Smith charges ahead against USQ in a rugby loss.
Warwick halfback Ryan Smith charges ahead against USQ in a rugby loss. Gerard Walsh

Tough day for the Rats

FLANKER Anthony Hawes was the best of the Water Rats as Warwick went down 97-12 to USQ in the Darling Downs Rugby Union A-grade game at Risdon Oval on Saturday.

Lock Chris McMahon scored the Warwick first-half try after a ruck close to the line.

Some dropped ball was costly to Warwick as USQ threw the ball around to lead 53-5 at halftime.

In the second half, Warwick lost prop Rick Johnson with a shoulder injury.

One of the best Warwick phases of the game was when McMahon picked up a loose ball in his own quarter, and took the ball close to half-way before passing to lock Byron Manthley, centre Fred Walker and then half-back Ryan Smith who kicked ahead 40 metres out.

The kick did not go to hand but soon after Matt Wheatley picked up a loose USQ ball to score under the posts.

Flyhalf Mitch Lamb converted to take Warwick to 12 points.

In the second half, fullback Josh Klein ran the ball 25 metres from his own line on one occasion, showing the attacking mindset in the team.

Hawes received best support from hooker Kev Neal and Manthey.

Coach Ryan Smith said his side was not quite on their game on Saturday.

“USQ are the top team and premiership favourites and have been together for three or four years,” Smith said.

While not prepared to predict a win, Smith is confident of a much better showing next week at Risdon Oval against a St George side which is in the bottom half of the table.

“Our side must play with more composure and confidence,” Smith said.

There are four games to go in a tough year for the Water Rats.

After playing St George at Risdon Oval on Saturday, Warwick has away games against Bears and Rangers before playing Roma at Risdon Oval on August 21.



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