Berry hopes tight contests will see rugby 'thrive' in Central West

Cowra Eagles captain Tim Berry (right) and his opposite number, Dubbo Kangaroos captain Shaun McHugh. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE
Cowra Eagles captain Tim Berry (right) and his opposite number, Dubbo Kangaroos captain Shaun McHugh. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

Tight contests will be the saving grace of rugby in the Central West, according to Cowra Eagles first-grade captain Tim Berry.

Supporters flocked to Victoria Park for Saturday's clash between the Eagles and the Dubbo Kangaroos, with the Eagles only just clinching victory in the highly physical contest.

The sides were all tied up at half but with 20 minutes remaining the Roos had pulled away to a 23-13 lead.

In fact the Eagles never led in the game until Berry - himself a former Roo - crashed over to make it 27-23 with fewer than five minutes remaining.

The Eagles and the Bathurst Bulldogs are the Blowes Clothing Cup top grade's only undefeated teams after four rounds, with the Orange City Lions the only side yet to record a win.

"The competition - doesn't matter if it's home or away - I think it's only going to be a try or two tries in most games and I think that's the good thing about the Central West at the moment," Berry said after the come-from-behind win.

"The competition is there and hopefully that brings a bit of crowd because we want Central West rugby to thrive and close games are going to do that."

As the second smallest town represented in Blowes Clothing Cup, Berry hoped Cowra's success in the competition - and beating the larger towns and clubs - would also attract more locals to get involved with the club.

The competition ... I think it's only going to be a try or two tries in most games and I think that's the good thing about the Central West at the moment.

Cowra Eagles first-grade skipper Tim Berry

"If we do that, the club gets stronger," he said.

Berry played for the Roos for about five years around the turn of the decade, and admitted "there's a a few guys there giving you a bit of lip from the sideline".

"Which is good - it just means you've got to concentrate that little bit more," Berry laughed.

It made scoring the match-winner on the back of a rolling scrum that much sweeter.

"It felt really good, obviously, going forward and I knew that there was going to be an opportunity, if we did get a bit of a roll on, to pick and go and over the line," he remembered.

"But I've got to give the front row credit there where it's due because they worked hard and it paid off right at the end."

The Eagles will now turn their attention to the Bathurst Bulldogs, in what promises to be the match of the round, with both teams still undefeated after the first four rounds of the season.

The teams will go head to head at the Cowra Rugby Grounds at 3.15pm, with reserves to play at 1.55pm.

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