Cowboys finals hopes still alive
WINGER Jeremy Jerome kicked a penalty goal 14 minutes from full-time to put the Warwick Cowboys in the lead in the A-grade match at Father Ranger Oval on Saturday night.
The home side led 4-0 after a try by fullback Michael O’Keefe.
Gatton scored two unconverted tries before the Cowboys levelled with a try 10 minutes before half-time.
Eight minutes from halftime, Gatton scored a converted try to lead 14-8 at the break.
Warwick did not concede a point in the second half and levelled mid-way through the half when five-eighth Brett Benz scored. Jerome converted for a 14-all scoreline.
After Jerome’s penalty, backrower Vinnie Mei beat four defenders to score with eight minutes to go to give the Cowboys a six-point buffer.
Cowboys coach George McVeigh said his side defended three successive sets of six tackles on their tryline in the last four minutes of play.
“Our forwards realised in the game against Gatton that they can contest and compete against bigger packs in the competition,” McVeigh said.
“The win keeps our finals hopes alive.”
Mei won the players’ player award.
Halfback Paul Cantwell and O’Keefe were also strong.
Toowoomba Clydesdales centre Jesse McIvor and Benz both returned from injury against Gatton and added much needed experience to a young Cowboys side.
Warwick went into the A-grade game without forwards Michael Ellis and Jim Roulston.
Ellis will miss the game against Wattles at Father Ranger Oval on Sunday while Roulston is in doubt.
Prop John Trindall sustained an ankle injury in the warm-up but played on Saturday night and could be in doubt for the game against Wattles.
Warwick won reserve grade 26-14 against Gatton in an outstanding game of rugby league.
Despite being at the bottom of the table early in the season, Warwick has a real chance of making the top five in an even competition.
The Cowboys led 10-0 in the first half before Gatton levelled.
Centre Waka Hakaiti was again prominent for Warwick in reserve grade, creating plenty of opportunities for his outside men.
In the under-18 game, Warwick won 54-0 and needs to win the final two games of the first round against Wattles and Valleys to secure a position in the June 4 President’s Cup.