Mark Duggan and Justin Van Der Poel combine to stop a Highfields charge while centre Luke Baker watches on in the Warriors 60-10 A-grade win at Platz Oval.
Mark Duggan and Justin Van Der Poel combine to stop a Highfields charge while centre Luke Baker watches on in the Warriors 60-10 A-grade win at Platz Oval. Glyn Rees

Win boosts Wattles

THE Wattles' frustrating losing stretch ended on Sunday at Platz Oval.

Back-rower Matthew McCarthy was inspirational as they finished all over the Highfields Eagles, winning 60-10.

The vital win lifted the home side off the wooden spoon rung on the TRL Premiership ladder.

After leading 18-6 at half-time, the Warriors weathered the storm of a concerted Highfields revival immediately after the break, their stone wall defence the springboard for an unanswered 42-point gallop in the final 28 minutes to notch up their second win of the season.

Wattles back-rower Matt McCarthy was in sensational form running the ball. Both he and centre Luke Baker scored a hat-trick each.

Front-rower Brady Glass was another to shine for Wattles, while half Jeff Nielsen was at his creative best, scoring two tries after earlier touching down four times in reserve grade.

Winger Dale Dempsey also scored two tries, and Brady Glass crossed for one. Glass booted six goals and Dempsey and Neilson a goal apiece.

In what has possibly been the most tumultuous week since the Wattles formation in 1965, the club's first-grade side weathered a changing of the guard.

Coach and former South West Division coaching and development officer Ken Riddiford stood down after a committee meeting on Thursday.

Former Wattles junior and Brisbane Western Districts accomplished first-grader Glen McMillan was appointed first grade captain/coach for the remainder of the 2011 season, assisted by his brother Russell McMillan.

Regardless of the reasons for the Warriors' ship being a little unstable on and off field over the last month, Sunday's result has jolted the confidence of the National Farmer's Warehouse first-grade squad as they prepare to face off in this Sunday's local derby with the Warwick Cowboys.

Wattles will be keen to see talented veteran five-eighth Robert Woodbridge available for the team this week. He turned out in reserve grade against Highfields and played a role in many of the Wattles tries.

Handy utility player Dean Cubby is another available for recall, as is injured centre/prop Ashley Evans.

Evans has progressed rapidly with injury recovery and is another keen to play this weekend. He has been arguably the Wattles' best player overall this season.

On McMillan, a hamstring twinge in the eleventh minute against Highfields saw the skipper hobble off clutching his leg, but he is confident he will lead his charges at Father Ranger Oval.

Eighteen-year-old Carl Gale showed he has the qualities it takes to make an impact in top grade, registering a solid debut off the bench, while winger Michael McCarthy handled the extra pressure as he also debuted, playing top grade alongside brother Matthew for the first time.

In a high-scoring match Wattles Railway Hotel Allora reserve graders lost 40 to 44 against Highfields, with halfback Jeff Neilson notching up four tries.

Other Warriors to shine included McIntosh brothers Josh and Walter, along with fullback Justin Van Der Poel.

Wattles led 24-18 at half-time, stretching that lead to 34-18 by the 40th minute.

Wattles fell off the pace from that point, and Highfields charged back into calculations on the back of four unanswered tries.

Aside from Neilson and Brown, under 18 players Brandon Cubby, Jason Wilson and Anthony McIntosh bagged tries, McIntosh and Neilson kicking two goals apiece.

Wattles Allora Foodworks under 18s, despite a positive first stanza that saw them level with Highfields 6-all at half-time, were no match for the visitors in the final thirty minutes, eventually losing 42-6.

The Warriors were first on the scoreboard when Anthony McIntosh scored their lone try and goal after 11 minutes.

The rot set in soon after the break, when Highfields hit the overdrive button racing away to score six unanswered tries.

Five-eighth Joshua Henry was a bright light on the Wattles horizon, in sensational form while Jason Wilson was a mainstay in the Wattles pack and halfback Michael Duggan again played well above his weight in a never-say-die performance.

Bustling front-rower Lee Lousic mixed it with the big Highfields pack, recognized by team-mates with the players' player honours.



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