After a tough fight against the Tri-Colours on Saturday, the Deniliquin Drovers were happy to come home with a draw.August 6, 2014 3:00am
Relief is what Deniliquin Drovers coach Warwick Strong felt when his side scored in the dying stages to draw with Cootamundra on Saturday in Southern Inland Rugby Union.
Although not an ideal result, the visiting Drovers weren’t ‘‘on their game’’ and taking home three premiership points (one for scoring three tries and two for the draw) rather than one was enough to satisfy the veteran coach.
The Drovers were down 17-12 at half-time and fought back to eventually level the scores, 24-24, with colossal number-eight Scott Francis touching down a late try and Shannon Poka kicking the conversion.
‘‘We started off really well to score the first try, but we just let them get back into the game,’’ Strong said.
‘‘We were missing a few blokes, which is no excuse, and we let them score a couple of easy tries.
‘‘In the end a draw was a good outcome.’’
The Tri-Colours responded to Deniliquin’s strong start with a try of their own and the score see-sawed for much of the first half.
The Drovers shot out of the blocks in the second half to even things up at 17 apiece, but Cootamundra was again able to hit back.
Francis scored the last try of the match with two minutes on the clock.
Other scorers were Les Dicker, Dan Hallman and Shae Tamati.
Francis shared one vote with front-rower Erasmus Bothma, while star second-rower Dicker received two and five-eighth Nathan Holahan got three.
Shae Tamati was awarded the Players’ Player mug for the second week in a row.
The Drovers host Leeton in the final home-and-away game of the season this Saturday.
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