THERE weren’t many positives to emerge from Western Rams under 23s’ hammering on Saturday, but the performance of Blayney’s Rakai Tuheke was one of them.
Coach Darren Jackson hopes his young side – which also included Lochie Hobby – will learn from the experience following a 62-0 drubbing at the hands of Monaro in round one of the Country Rugby League Championships.
Monaro ran in 11 unanswered tries in a clinical performance at Cowra’s Sid Kallas Oval, booking their spot in next weekend’s round two match against Riverina and shattering Western’s 2017 hopes in the process.
Jackson described the result as a “low point” in his coaching career, having prepared the Rams for a tilt at this year’s title.
But the mentor singled out Tuhek’s performance as a bright spot an otherwise black day.
“I though Rakai Tuheke from Blayney looked really good,” Jackson said.
”At representative footy you always hope that scorelines like this don’t happen but unfortunately it did. We spoke in the lead up about being clinical in the way we were going to play and we prepared the best we can in these circumstances.
“I thought we were going to be better than that.”
Monaro applied endless pressure throughout the 80 minutes, with their strategy of playing direct proving extremely effective.
Six tries were scored by the men from Canberra before the break, three of those coming in a ruthless 10-minute performance before half-time to lead 34-0.
The Rams dug deep during the early exchanges of the second period but a try to Monaro lock Josh Baker in the 55th gave the visitors momentum to pile on a further 28 unanswered points.
Jackson identified a lack of discipline as Western’s main downfall but urged the young squad to take plenty from the experience.