On Saturday one of the longest rugby losing streaks was broken when the Bowral Blacks defeated Camden by 19 to 18 at Camden. The game was a real thriller with Camden having the opportunity to win with a try conversion 2 minutes into extra time. The kick shaved the outside of the left upright giving Bowral it’s first victory in 5 seasons!
Bowral went into the half with a 12-5 lead thanks to tries to Luke Debono and Fet-Lika Sage. Bowral had a strong start to the game, dominating the scrums and executing well on their structures. If Bowral had been able to capitalise on their lineout throws better, then they would have probably notched up at least one more try. However with key lineout forward John Dobson out injured and Camden having some excellent lineout forwards, this remained the only blight on Bowral’s first half performance. Encouragingly, Bowral was clearly superior in the scrums with tight five, Luke Debono, Manu Feilovai, Ben Lewis, Ray Afamasaga and Mitch Spargo working well to disrupt Camden’s flow in taking a number of tightheads.
Shortly after the break, Camden scored a try and kicked a penalty to lead 13-12. Bowral then rallied and scored a try which Nick Howard converted to lead 19-12. The game remained at this score until 2 minutes into extra time when Camden scored after launching numerous attacks which Bowral had courageously repelled. This made the score 19-18 with a conversion to come. The rugby gods were smiling on Bowral and Camden missed. This was full-time and a very emotional celebration commenced.
Coaches Paul Frean and Peter Burt were very pleased with the effort. “We probably have snapped the longest losing streak in rugby history. Bowral have lost 90+ games in a row over the last 5 years. Many of them by over 100 points. To do this after all those losses is a huge turnaround by these men. They are a fantastic bunch, a real band of brothers. We have witnessed something remarkable, but we have to say that it was well earned as the boys have really worked hard to do this. They are committed and have a strong sense of brotherhood.”
Player points went to Luke Debono, Justin Madden and Tim Lewis.
The winning team: Luke Debono, Manu Feilovai, Ben Lewis, Ray Afamasaga, Mitch Spargo, Max Jenkins, Michael Bach, Tim Lewis (C), Nick Howard, Justin Madden, Fet Lika-Sage (VC), Cameron Madden, Dave Blume, Dan Gates, Carlos Rahme Res: Steve Strode, Dave Cosgrove, Lyle Chadwick, Charles Hamilton-Fox, Cameron Lui.