The Dubbo Roos have bounced back in round two of the Blowes Clothing Cup defeating Cowra Eagles 22-12 thanks to a 12 point performance by 19-year-old substitute halfback Patrick Berryman.
It had been 5-5 since the 24th minute when Berryman entered the field at the hour mark on Saturday afternoon at the Cowra Rugby Grounds, but that would soon change.
Roos hit the lead at the 65th minute through a Jock Brownhill try and Berryman converted spectacularly from the sideline into a howling wind which caused havoc all day.
The Eagles looked to have stolen a draw when Joey Dunlop dived over and fullback Jack Thurtell kicked an equally impressive two points from out wide to lock it up at 12-12 with six minutes remaining.
Two minutes later Berryman kicked the Roos to a three point lead thanks to a penalty in front about 25 metres out then he put the game to rest scoring a converted try of his own after darting down the blind side and going in untouched.
Roos coach Vince Gordon heaped praise on the youngster and said the game “could have gone either way”.
“Paddy’s a good little footballer he’s played country junior football. He played well he sees the opportunity, he’s a smart footballer,” Gordon said.
“The game could have gone either way. The windy day made it difficult but both teams played some nice footy.”
Thurtell was outstanding for the Eagles at fullback, saving two tries in the first half and clearing the ball from their end effectively on a number of occasions, while also giving the Eagles a chance at 12-12 inside the final 10 minutes.
Cowra coach Col Jeffs said the Eagles panicked when they had opportunities and weren’t smart enough.
“We’re a working progress. We gave ourselves opportunities today to score but we didn’t capitalise. We weren’t hungry,” Jeffs said.
“I can’t be too disappointed because there were some good performancees but games like this you have to play for 80 minutes. We played in 10 minute spats.”
Canadian recruit Aidan McCleary was strong for the Eagles before being stretchered from the field in the 58th minute.
Dubbo Roos 22 (Tim Beach, Patrick Berryman tries; Berryman 2 conversions, penalty goal) bt Cowra Eagles 12 (Kirk Stanbridge, Joey Dunlop tries; Jack Thurtell conversion).