Wattles coach in outstanding form at five-eighth
RUGBY LEAGUE: There may only be five rounds of the 2019 TRL season completed but the Railway Hotel Allora Wattles Warriors A-grade side sent a clear message yesterday they will be a force to be reckoned with after dispatching reigning premiers Valleys Roosters 34-18.
Player coach Travis Burns was in tremendous form controlling the game in masterly fashion and was rewarded when named Hutchies Man of the Match.
Burns couldn't speak more highly of his side, Wattles regrouping at the start of the second half when trailing 12-10.
Early tries by Valleys fleet of foot outside backs Zach Miles and Denzel Burns had the home side leading 8-0 and Wattles scrambling to find their footing.
When winger Braydon Wilson found the try line in the 18th minute, it signalled a Warriors awakening that saw them rack up six tries on their way to victory.
Unanswered touchdowns by workaholic forwards Dale Perkins and Michael Pearson along with winger Wilson in the initial 20 minutes of the second stanza in a sizzling Warriors fightback had the home side Roosters 28-12 down.
Wilson showed his class as a finisher on Wattles left edge and crossed in the closing minutes to seal the game and a hat trick of tries added to his season total.
Mentor Burns described the result as a "massive win”, recalling his side's battles with Valleys through the 2018 season.
Back-rower Ty Gardner was in sensational form, as was centre Nick Van Der Poel along with co-skipper and lock Ryan Duggan who missed Wattles last outing due to injury.
Halfback Matt Duggan commanded midfield with esteem, proving his prowess as an outstanding playmaker, his combination with five-eighth Burns a highlight of Wattles winning result.
A concern for Wattles hierarchy is a serious wrist injury to Jake Hargreaves that could see the representative centre sidelined long term.
The victory was sweet for Burns, especially after last season's late loss to the Roosters in the grand final.
"It was a great result, very proud of the guys, they keep improving with every game. Still a lot of work to do athough the business end of the premiership is still over the horizon,” he said
Wattles 34 (Braydon Wilson 3, Jordan Henry, Dale Perkins, Michael Pearson tries; Matt Duggan 5 goals) defeated Valleys 18 (Zach Miles, Denzel Burns, Dylan Chown, Dwayne Duncan tries; Dwayne Duncan goal). Reserve grade: Valleys 24 d Wattles 22. Under 18: Valleys 28 d Wattles 16.