Wattles bubble bursts in Toowoomba
THE National Farmers Warehouse Wattles Warriors green and gold bubble burst at Herb Steinohrt Oval on Saturday evening at the hands of a committed Valleys Roosters outfit that ran in six tries to two winning 34-12 in front of a big crowd.
The Warriors had been basking in a three from three winning record in the opening rounds of the 2018 TRL Hutchies Cup premiership but their success of late came to a sudden halt against an impressive Valleys line-up.
Valleys fullback Dylan Chown was in sensational form crossing for three tries and kicking four goals for a personal match tally of twenty points.
Chowns scored the Roosters final try, an eye catching effort highlighting his speed, which contributed greatly to him being named the TRL Hutchies 'Player of Round 4'.
Both sides went in to the top grade game undefeated, but the local crowd were at fever pitch as the Roosters ran in three tries by Chown, Kalamb Hart and Hugh Sedger to lead 16-0 in the shadow of half time.
In a game where Wattles had an impressive list of names as absentees, Valleys were slipping out of reach until centre Braydon Wilson crossed for a four-pointer as the half time hooter sounded, keeping his team in touch with their opponents.
The home side enjoyed a 16-6 advantage at the break, Wattles feeling the pinch of key missing players.
Usuals in the green and gold such as Matt Duggan, co-captain Ryan Duggan, Jackson Green and Mitch Koina we all absent for personal reasons, while former Melbourne Storm under 20 back Jake Hargreaves was also unavailable.
Outside back Brodie Frizzell is on the injured list along with Toowoomba representative Ty Gardner.
Valleys upped the tempo in the second stanza snatching three unanswered touchdowns in a 30 minute period, one outstanding individual effort in the 51st minute by Chowns weaving his way through from 40 metres out.
Wattles were unlucky in the 54th minute when hooker Liam Ross breached the Roosters defence from close to the line but was ruled to be held up.
Despite four consective penalties and Valleys locked in their own 20 metre zone, the Warriors were unable to penetrate the home side defence.
Try scoring centre Brayden Wilson was assisted from the field with a leg injury in the 55th minute.
Wattles threw all they had at the Valleys defence throughout and finished on a high note when centre Nick Van Der Poel scooted through to score two minutes from full time.
Despite the scoreboard advice, coach Travis Burns was more than impressed with performances of those elevated to the top side due to vacancies.
"You win some, you lose some," Burns said.
"A win would have been ideal but the game has revealed the depth of talent we have, and few lessons for the future."
Fullback Andrew Richardson and lock Jason Wilson were exceptional throughout and along with the likes of fellow new faces, winger Blake Lollback, big forward Mitchell Duff and five-eight Josh Henry.
Burns suggests there will be some challenging decisions around the Wattles selection table later this week.
Front-rowers Michael Pearson and Dylan Wilson worked tirelessly up front along with team skipper Dale Perkins and Will O'Gradey.
Along with Richardson, and Henry, Travis Burns was very effective marshalling his troops around the paddock.
Wattles regroup next Sunday on their home turf at Platz Oval against competition leaders the Dalby Diehards.
Valleys 34 (Dylan Chown 3, Kalamb Hart, Hugh Sedger, Aaron Sillitoe tries; Dylan Chown 4 goals) defeated Wattles 12 (Braydon Wilson, Nick Van Der Poel tries; Travis Burns 2 goals).
Valleys 20 (Mitchell Sargent, Marc McGrady, Josh Mason, Bula Ashby-Kaukau tries; Josh Duncan, Antoine Roma goals) defeated Wattles 16 (Jesse Miles, Joe Morris, Harry Shooter tries; Tom Morris 2 goals).
Valleys 40 (Declan Buckley 3, Coen Hopkins 2, Zac Miles, Jordan Grant, Klarenzo Fo'pu tries; Koby Cubby 4 goals)
Wattles 6 (Matthew Christensen try; Tyler Gillam goal).