No surprise that Paul Elliott was awarded players’ player honours by his Dubbo Kangaroos team-mates after their 38-18 loss to Narromine Gorillas on Saturday.
Both sets of forwards smashed into each other for the full term and even near the end of 80 minutes they had to be separated by officials in the heat of the moment.
One can only imagine what would have happened had the scores been close.
But ‘close’ they were in a sense of the word with the 20-point difference not really an indication of how the game was played.
While halves Elliott and Johnny Rathbone worked their craft behind a courageous pack, the captain was also brilliant in defence pulling off some big tackles and not afraid to throw his body on the line.
One front-on tackle on Narromine half-back Ryan Pratten left the Gorilla smashed on the turf and needing treatment for a bloodied lip.
Elliott also picked up major points in the club’s best and fairest award, while his young brother James and forwards team-mate Lee Toohey got two points and second-rower James Skuthorp one point – despite spending 10 minutes in the sin bin after a high tackle.
The first half was a real battle with Luke Mannix scoring for the Roos and No.8 Lachie McCutcheon over for Narromine just before the break.
But during that first-half Narromine fullback Scott Burgess had the radar working with three penalty goals from easy positions as the visitors enjoyed a penalty count of 8-4 in their favour.
It was more the same on the way home with Narromine spending long periods of play in the Roos’ half.
Tim Berry’s try for the Roos was the one and only time they got down the other end.
To their credit pressure turned into tries and Narromine came with up three more through Doug Potter and captain Dan Maroulis and a second by McCutcheon.
It was clinical stuff by the defending premiers and the way in which they absorbed the pressure and never wilted will have them in high spirits going into the finals series.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.