OLD Bar has now completed three successive Group Three Rugby League games at Old Bar.
However, it hasn't been the start captain-coach Mick Henry envisaged, with a win over Port City sandwiched between losses to Port Macquarie and Wauchope. A consolation is that all three sides are expected to be front runners for major honours this year.
"We were hoping to win at least two of the games,'' Henry said after the 28-18 defeat by the Blues.
"That brings us down to earth a bit. We know we have plenty of work to do, winning a competition doesn't come easy.
"There's a lot of good sides in this comp, you can't show up any week without being on.''
Henry admitted the Wauchope forwards had the better of the contest in what was a physical encounter.
"We were dominated through the middle today,'' Henry lamented.
"We dropped too much ball and missed too many tackles. Wauchope were very fast through the middle and we didn't win too many rucks. If you don't win rucks you don't win football games.
"And not winning rucks leads to penalties and leads to errors. It's a domino effect.''
Wauchope captain-coach Beau Kettle said the Blues were expecting a torrid afternoon. That's how it turned out, he added.
"It was a real grind and we knew it was going to be down here. Old Bar's been travelling pretty well so we knew it was going to be tough,'' he said.
"It was to and fro all game but we managed to get our nose in front and stay there.''
Kettle was particularly pleased with his side's defence, especially in the second half when the Pirates were camped in the Blues' territory.
"We defended hard there, especially when we had a couple of sets on our line,'' he said.
However, the Blues have some injury concerns, with hooker Dean Hurrell the main worry.
"It looks as though Dean's broken his arm,'' Kettle said.
"We also had a couple of young fellas step up from reserve grade for the first time and they went really well.
"Tyrell Scott made his first grade debut today off the bench. We knew they had a pretty solid forward pack and we bought him on when we thought they would be a little bit buggered.
"He helped set up a try and went really well.''
The Blues now have two wins and a draw from the opening three games.
"We didn't have any trials because of the floods, so it was a bit up in the air as to how we'd go,'' Kettle admitted.
"But we had a good win over Wingham first up and a tough game against the Sharks that ended in a draw, so things are going okay. I couldn't be happier''
The Blues face Taree City at Taree on Saturday with Old Bar's first and reserve grades scheduled to tackle Forster-Tuncurry at Kendall on Sunday. The Pirates play Port Sharks in league tag while their under 18s have the bye. Camden Haven play Forster-Tuncurry in league tag and under 18s, with all the matches at Kendall.
In other round three first grade games Wingham defeated Taree City 46-22, Port City bounced back to account for Macleay 18-16 while Port Macquarie defeated Forster-Tuncurry 56-26 in a high scoring game at Tuncurry.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: