Cods defend Rabobank Shield
THE RABOBANK Shield will be staying put in The Fish Tank for another year after the Condamine Cods won the battle to retain it against the Roma Echidnas on Saturday.
The Cods broke away from the Echidnas in the first half of the match and extended on their 29-0 half time lead to beat the Echidnas 49 - 7, winning the shield convincingly for the fourth year in a row.
Condamine Cod's president Doug McNicholl said he was pleased the team had a strong win and it was a "good booster for the boys” after a lose to the Dalby Wheatmen kicked off the season last weekend.
"It's definitely good to get away with a 49- 7 win,” he said.
"It's a great result, particularly that number of points.”
McNicholl said there was a few reasons why the Cods had been able to contest the shield and that it would be hard for Roma to get their hands on it.
"We've retained it since 2014 because to win it you have to beat whoever has it on their home turf,” he said.
"The Shield has been played on our home ground for the past four years and playing Condamine at Condamine is a hard task for most clubs.
"That combined with a pretty decent player group...we've been a pretty competitive side.”
McNicholl said the Cod's discipline was a lot better this week after a tough start to the season last weekend.
"We were able to control the game a lot better. This week we were playing Roma who were somewhere near the bottom of the ladder last year. I think that's obviously a big difference from playing the reigning premiers (the Dalby Wheatmen) last week.
"Last week Dalby brought the game to us...this week we were able to take the game to Roma,” he said.
The Cods strengthened their attack this week with a number of new additions to the team's back line and some new young players.
"We have a bunch of young guys who really took control of the game and played strongly...they are all pretty much straight out of school,” McNicholl said.
Newcomer, 17-year-old Carel Lubbe was named player of the match.
"He only finished school last year and he's playing a game of men's rugby, really,” McNicholl said.
"He was consistently applying pressure to the opposition throughout the whole game in defence...when you see a young man who has the confidence to tackle and run it against men in their late twenties or early thirties it can be a daunting thing but he didn't take a backward step all day.”
The Cods take on newly formed team Highfields at their home ground next weekend but McNicholl is confident the team will bring home another win.
"Roma beat them 31-10,” McNicholl said.
"Playing any team at home is always a very different task to when they are travelling but we would certainly expect to come away with a win.”