The Narrandera Lizards braved the cold and rain to play a phenomenal day of rugby league. Both the junior and the senior Lizards were playing in chilly damp conditions, which affected play.
The maximum temperature for Saturday was only 11 degrees, with most of the juniors playing in eight degree weather and rain.
In the case of the under 6s, the Narrandera Lizards played a friendly match against Leeton, as only four tiny players braved the cold weather – not quite enough for a full side.
The ProTen Community Cup was played in the afternoon. The senior Lizards played against the Rankin Springs Dragons, which started at 5pm. Before kick-off, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Bulldog Matthew, who was heavily involved in the Narrandera Lizards for decades, and had long advocated bringing back a senior rugby league team. The last of the daylight shone as
the grounds were quiet, until the sun slipped away at kickoff.
The rain started in earnest as the seniors played. Rankin Springs scored two tries in rapid succession but were unable to convert either of them. The Lizards went on the attack, with Steven Matthew able to break through Rankin Springs’ defence to score their first try. The Lizards were able to convert the try, narrowing the lead 6-8.
The scores held steady as neither group could break though the other’s defences. Conditions didn’t help as the weather made the ball greasy and the grounds weren’t much better. Players were skidding a full two metres when tackling or diving for the ball. The grounds were wet, the ball was wet, and the players were wet to boot.
Finally Rankin Springs were able to break the stalemate, finding a gap in the Lizards’ line to score a try. Unfortunately, they had no luck with the conversion, and the score held at 6-12 to Rankin Springs. The score held steady until half time.
Whatever pep talk or drying off Rankin Springs had in the half-time break, it worked wonders. The Dragons scored two tries in about five minutes of kick-off, and this time they were able to convert, bringing the score to 6-24. The Dragons were on a roll, scoring twice more before the Lizards broke through with a try, getting back on the scoreboard 12- 36.
A penalty and a scrum both worked in the Lizards’ favour to score another try, although were unable to convert, bringing the score up to 16-36. Spurred on, the Lizards went in more aggressively,
making up ground as much as they could. They lost possession in a scrum, however, and the Dragons were able to score one last try before the siren went, with the final score Narrandera 16, Rankin Springs 40.
The ProTen Community Cup was designed as the rebirth of the Group 17 competition. Intended as a friendly and social competition, six teams from the mid and far west of NSW are competing in a six-game round.