Match Report: NSW Country Cockatoos v NSW Subbies

NSW Country have beaten NSW Subbies convincingly to claim the Ross-Maher Cup for the fourth time in six years.

Despite finishing the match with just 13 players on the park, the Cockatoos were too good for their suburban rivals, scoring nine tries in the 40-7 victory.

“We were down to 13, just yellow and red cards. There was no foul play, the game was played in really good spirit. It was just repeat infringements, a double yellow card in the one case,” NSW Country coach Matt Thomas said.

“We just outclassed Subbies. It was pretty impressive what they did considering Subbies had been training for six weeks and we’d trained for an hour-and-a-half.

“Our forward pack was far bigger than theirs and that’s where it really made a difference. We’d take a six-foot-four bloke off, and put another one.

“Our speed, size, strength and intent at the breakdown, I think it was just too much for Subbies.”

The win is the perfect start to the Cockatoo’s 2017 campaign ahead of matches against Southern Inland and QLD Country in the coming weeks.

“It was a good start, but we head down to Canberra next to play Southern Inland and that will be tough, they have a very, very good backline,” Thomas said.

“We’ll see how we go there, but I’m pleased to start with a win.”

Central North centre Pat Keen bagged a double for the Cockatoos but Thomas said he was most pleased with his side’s overall team performance.

“Paul Tuala was his usual self, he’s been strong for a long time but he is playing the best rugby I’ve seen him play for a few years, our No.8 Travis Brooke was very good too.

“It’s tough to single anyone out too much though, it was an excellent performance all-round.”