Three second half tries by an out-of-position Brad Johnson sparked a thrilling yet unsuccessful revival on Saturday when the Clarence Town Cobras travelled away to take on last placed Thornton Beresfield.
The Bears were winless in their first four games of the season and it was thought the Cobras would be too strong for the locals, even with a large contingent of players unavailable for this game.
The early clash between both packs was a torrid affair with neither side gaining an upper hand.
Clarro were unlucky not to score midway through the first half when the final pass to what looked to be a try was called as forward.
The Cobras didn’t seem to recover from the setback and the home side took advantage of some poor handling and disorganised defence to run in the first three tries and take a handy 18-nil lead.
Tom Rumbel continually made ground through the Bears defence but it was Kieran Hinton who put the Cobras on the board when he ran strongly on to a pass to score next to the posts.
The conversion put Clarro back in the game at 18-6.
The recovery was short lived and when the Cobras marker defence was slow to react the Bears centre strolled down the blind side to stretch the halftime score to 22-6 in their favour.
Thornton Beresfield had Clarro in big trouble soon after the break when the front rower ran strongly close to the line and scored to extend the lead to 26-6.
Fortunately during the next 20 minutes of play the Cobras showed glimpses of what they are capable of when Ben Trappel through a neat cut out pass to pick up Mitch Elliott unmarked on the wing.
His try began a revival and the visitors began to dominate the game and soon after, Johnson was in for his first try to bring the score to 26-16.
Clarro again applied good pressure on the Bears line and Johnson again scored when he barged over from dummy half.
The Cobras were now within reach at 26-22.
It was a combination of a long Kieran Hinton run and a quick play the ball which enabled Johnson to catch the defence napping and score his third try and level the scores at 26-all.
The conversion from wide out from young winger Brodie Thackeray had the Cobras in front for the first time in the game at 28-26 and with only minutes remaining a chance to snatch a remarkable win.
Regrettably I think Clarro’s performance was summed up as a whole when in the dying minutes of the game a loose carry in midfield resulted in a scrum.
From the set play the Bears centre broke through a simple one-on-one missed tackle and scored a runaway try to grab victory from the hands of defeat 32-28.
Best forward and players’ player was Tom Rumbel and best back went to Rob Elliott.
Kieran Hinton won the supporters’ award and best benchy was Daniel Crozier.
Best and fairest points: 3 Tom Rumbel 2 James Spence 1 Rob Elliott.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Cobras next week as they are again on the road to take on the unbeaten competition leaders Fingal Bay at 3pm on Saturday.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.