THREE tries in six minutes saw the Western Rams under 21s come from behind to beat their Federation of Italia Rugby League Australia rivals 26-16 at Carrington Park on Saturday.
Trailing 12-10 after the opening 35-minute half, the Rams, featuring Dubbo Westside’s Tom Clow, found themselves under pressure early in the second stanza.
For 15 minutes FIRLA camped on the Rams’ line, but the visitors were unable to get any reward.
Momentum then swung as the hosts quickly surged to a 14-point lead – a scoring blitz which FIRLA was unable to recover from.
“They’re a really fast, mobile side. We didn’t know what to expect, but they had that speed and they sort of worried us a little bit when they got the ball wide with offloads,” Rams coach Kurt Hancock said.
“They came back into it, but the first part of the second half we were really good defensively I thought.
“They had a lot of ball early in that second half, but once we got it down their end we took our chances.”
FIRLA had to deal with a stack of early pressure and the Rams got out to an early 6-0 lead when Matt Ranse scored.
Eventually the boys in blue worked themselves into the match and and it was soon 12-6 but a classy try to Ryan Griffin got it back to 12-10 at the break.
FIRLA began the second stanza better but Mudgee’s man of the match Zac Adams, Hudson White and Camden Sutton all crossed to make it 26-12 to the Rams.
That was a match-winning lead, Kyle Lowe’s late effort a mere consolation for FIRLA.