Valleys defence seals game despite poor ball handling
THE hallmark of a good side is one that can escape with a win, in games where they could well have walked away with no competition points in the bag.
While Wallabys were valiant in their efforts, level late into the game, Valleys still managed to walk away with another mark in the win column, after a 27-18 victory on Saturday night.
Marley Brown Oval was the humid setting for the match, marred by poor ball handling in the first half, especially from Valleys, captain Aaron Hall conceded.
"It was terrible, to be honest, from both teams," Hall said. "They (Wallabys) were winning 12-0 at half time, we just couldn't hold the ball, we didn't play patient footy."
It's often said defence wins premierships, and Valleys could hold their heads high in that regard, hanging tough for the entire 80 minutes to grind their way to the win.
"Our defence was awesome the whole 80 minutes, especially in their own half, keeping them down there (near Wallabys try line)," Hall said.
Valleys came up against an inspired Wallabys side, bolstered by a sizable forward pack, including man mountain Mick Hamilton, who bent the defensive line.
"He (Hamilton) was massive, they do have a big forward pack and that may have helped us being a little bit fitter around the ruck," Hall said.
Set completion was the Achilles heel for Valleys in the first half, failure to reach their kicks left the side doing more than their ideal share of defending, and the loss of a number of players to Capras rep duty meant a reshuffle, with Hall himself stepping into the front row to help cover the losses.
"Without getting to our kicks we just defended the whole first half," he said.
"I thought it was going to be pretty close, we had three blokes out with Capras and I know they had a few blokes out too."
Hall, who will have no Easter break, selected in the Gladstone rep team due to take on a Rockhampton side on Thursday night, said his side was looking to fine-tune their set plays a little more, but was impressed with his teammates so far this season.
- Wallabys led 12-0 at half time
- Scores locked at 18-all with just over 10 minutes left
Valleys ended up eventual 27-18 winners at Marley Brown Oval on Saturday night