Wellington Cowboys have made a statement in the opening round of the 2021 Group 11 season, taking a 30-12 win over the Forbes Magpies first grade side at Spooner Oval.
Coach Cameron Greenhalgh said the squad knew what they were up against, and had spoken in advance about what they needed to do to shut the powerful 2019 premiership side down. It just didn't happen.
"We turned over too much football, and that's one thing you can't do is give Wellington too much footy," he said.
"We also spoke about starting fast and we didn't, they got the jump on us."
Add to that a couple of decisions that didn't go Forbes' way, and the scoreboard tells the story.
Wellington winger CJ Ralph opened the visitors' account in the opening minutes, and they had a 14-0 lead going into half time. They returned to the field and promptly extended that lead to 20-nil.
"We played our best footy in the last 20 minutes of the game, but it was too late," Greenhalgh said.
The Magpies will be knuckling down this week to prepare for next weekend's contest against Nyngan, with Forbes again having the benefit of the home game.
Mitchell Andrews was notably absent on Sunday, he'd bowed out after the warm-up with a query injury that will be looked at this week.
While Greenhalgh acknowledges Wellington's a good side, he adds the upcoming games aren't going to get any easier.
"We're up against Nyngan Tigers and they're fresh (from a Round 1 bye)," he said.
While our first grade tasted disappointed on Sunday, Forbes Magpies dominated in every other grade, beginning with a terrific game in the league tag.
The day's results were:
- Ladies League Tag, Forbes 34 defeated Wellington 4.
- Under 18's, Forbes 32 defeated Wellington 16.
- Reserves Forbes, 36 defeated Wellington 16.
- First grade, Wellington 30 defeated Forbes 12.
In the other Round 1 games:
- Dubbo CYMS 22 defeated Parkes Spacemen 10
- Narromine Jets 16 went down to Maquarie Raiders 26.