Time was up on the smart new Wests’ scoreboard with only injury time to play when the Whites half Mitch Douch missed two opportunities to win the game and then received a third when Wests’ centre Ratu Tagive threw the ball dead. Douch kicked this one and the Whites won 20-18. Ratu was recruited by Coach Adam Fahey and then walked out on the eve of the competition. Karma.

It was the only time Queanbeyan held the lead and like seconds, 10-all, and colts 15-13 can count themselves very lucky. Thirds won reasonably 17-7 and an unrecognisable fourth fell 7-37 at Jamison.

The loss of five eighth Zac Tarrant upset the team’s balance as did other injuries throughout the match with players swapping more positions than Ryan Jones on a Saturday night. While the Whites could not win a lineout, could not get a kick right and could not mount any pressure Wests went about their business in a very structured way.

A turning point was the injury to Wests’ prop Ben Coutts as then the Whites pack gained control. Led by Tai Valeni, Les Makin, Sokai Tai and sub OJ Noa the side gradually found territory. When desperate for a try you turn to Keith JR Morgan and now at 10-18 down there was some hope. The forwards rumbled another and at 17-18 the critical penalties flowed to the Whites.

The seconds had plenty of personnel missing but they never miss in giving it their all. With cult figure Zeb making more runs than Shane Watson and Josh Townsend on hand to score the only try it was up to Angus Balmarks to kick a penalty at the end to seal a draw. It was fitting that Townsend had a cameo appearance in first grade. He is the most consistent forward. Dan Hawke had to come on early at five eighth and his experience kept the side in the hunt.

Earlier he led the thirds to beat the second placed Wests and if they beat University next week could jump to second spot. Young Simi Latu and old Tim “Goanna” Godfrey were other stand outs.

Colts had Tyran Sullivan, Brayden Smith and Jeremy “Slipper” Taylor doing their best in a game that matched the weather, dull and overcast. You feel like grabbing the Colts and giving them a good shake. They do not realise their own potential.

The fourths had a meet and greet before the match and drew their positions out of a hat. It was a game effort from them all.

Next week the last round with Uni-Norths at Campese Oval.

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