Rugby League is back on the map in Narrandera with the first home game for the Lizards yielding a win over Barellan in a physical and rough game.
Three local derbys were played at Narrandera under round two of the ProTen Community Cup on Saturday with Goolgowi up against Rankins Springs, Hillston versus Ivanhoe and Narrandera v Barellan.
The Lizards came out firing to jump to an 18-nil lead after 20 minutes, playing a brand of footy, completing sets and defending well.
Old habits crept back allowing the Barellan Rams to put on two soft tries before both sides had players in the bin. The Lizards went into half time leading 18-12.
The second half didn’t start well with three consecutive penalties given in the first set saw Barellan even the scores up at 18 all.
The game went back and forth with Barellan up by two with 30 seconds to go in the game, and the Lizards in a good attacking position. They threw the ball wide to their slick backs to score a match winning try with the final score 26-24.
Try scorers were Troy Prior (two), Jade Williams, Jamaine Morgan and Gary Ingram (three goals).
For Barellan, try scorers were Greg Bonetti, Rodney Evans, Albert Gibson, Neil Halden and Adam Thomas four goals.
In the other matches, the Rabbitohs beat the Dragons 16-12, while the Ivanhoe Roosters beat the Hillston Bluebirds 34-10.
In Round One on May 25, Narrandera had crashed to earth in a 28-0 loss to Goolgowi Rabbitohs at Rankins Springs after taking out the ProTen Community Cup Knockout.
In the same round, Barellan Rams lost to Ivanhoe Roosters 28-8, and Rankins Springs Dragons had a narrow 22-20 win over Hillston Bluebirds. Tries were scored for Barellan by Nick Ohlsen and Sam Everett.
Lizards coach Gary Ingram said the loss to the Rabbitohs had been a wake-up call for the team.
“We had a couple of players out and went in a little under strength,” he said. “We didn’t have much of the ball – we were a bit more organised this week with a few more older heads back.”
Locals in ProTen squad
Narrandera and Barellan players have been selected for this year’s Proten Community Cup representative squad. The game against the Murray Cup representative side will be at Albury on June 8.
Coaches are Narrandera’s Gary Ingram and Shaun Lyons.
Narrandera Lizard senior players named in the squad are Brayden Ingram, Gary Ingram, Jamaine Morgan, Bryce Sanders and John Williams.
Barellan Rams players selected are Sam Everett and Lachlan Pengelly while Ryan Overall is unvailable and Jimmy McDermott is out with a knee injury.
Pengelly, 19, plays hooker/lock and loves the good crowds and great atmosphere of the Proten Cup, and the fact it is about bringing footy back to the small communities.
The other players are Alex Brown (Goolgowi), Rory Brown (Goolgowi), Reed Bunyon (Ivanhoe), Nick Carmichael (Ivanhoe), Gavin Evans (Ivanhoe), Jack Fensom (Hillston), Michael Haines (Hillston), Billy Hale (Goolgowi), Brenton Kitson (Ivanhoe) Daniel Milthorpe (Hillston), Billy Overall (Rankins Springs), Jamie Parsons (Rankins Springs), John Power (Rankins Springs), Ben Robertson (Hillston), Andrew Streat (Rankins Springs), Craig Ticehurst (Hillston), Kane Wilson (Rankins Springs) and Jeremy Young (Goolgowi).
Gary Ingram is hoping a blend of youth and the more experienced players will carry the squad over the line against Murray.
“Our three young blokes performed well at the Proten Knockout – Brayden Ingram, Bryce Sanders and Jamaine Morgan,” he said. “They are keen to gain experience rep football wise.
“Brayden plays in the second row, has good ball skills and knowledge of the game so I’ve been playing him in the halves as well.
“Jamaine will prob-ably play in the centres, out a bit wider, as he has a bit of speed. He has come across from AFL and has made the move well. I’ve been playing Bryce Sanders in the front row for us but in the rep team he may be in the back row along with Brayden.
“John Williams will play front row as he has a bit more experience, and he should get us on the front foot.”
The squad’s first training run was at Griffith on Monday.
Ingram said the strength of the rep team lay with the forwards and the quick players out wide.
“We will be pretty strong out wide and I reckon we will catch them out,” he said.
The ProTen Cup side will meet the Murray side again at Narrandera on August 31.