Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Kootingal Roosters moved to third on the Whitehaven Coal Group 4 First Grade Table after Saturday night’s 26-12 win over a gritty and gutsy Gunnedah Bulldogs at the Kootingal Recreation Reserve.

Gunnedah might be languishing in seventh place on the table but they gave Kootingal plenty under the lights and could have easily won.

The two sides went to the halftime break 6-all after the Roosters had taken the lead through a Billy Nean converted try before the Bulldogs hit back with a DJ Smith intercept try.

Nean added a second early in the second half when the Roosters swooped on a dropped Gunnedah pass in their 20 but it was game on when the Bulldogs hit back in the 61st minute.

Roosters coach, Mark Sheppard, said the hard-fought win keeps the side in the top four.

“It was a good win for the boys, for the club and the community. Everyone puts in a lot of hard work out here, a lot of stuff behind the scenes.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for us,” he said whilst also praising Gunnedah.

“They are a good side, you have to keep your guard up. There big prop (Lincon Smith) played a full game and kept charging it to us. He was outstanding I thought.

“It was a tough game too. A real grind, had to be patient and our kicking game wasn’t the best but we worked hard.”

Gunnedah coach, Sean Hayne, said a “few mistakes and errors cost us”.

“I thought we were in control in the second half,” he told G4 Media.

“But we got a little impatient and frustrated. That let the pressure off.”

He said his side has to learn to play the full 80 minutes not in patches.

Werris Creek learn from the loss

Werris Creek might have lost to North Tamworth 30-18 in their Whitehaven Coal Group 4 clash at Jack Woolaston Oval, North Tamworth on Saturday but they will be much better for it, their coach, Dave Stewart, reckons.

“We can take a lot out of it,” Stewart told G4 Media after the game.

“There was only one try between us, 5-4. Every time they scored a try they went up six, every time we scored we went up four.”

Bears halfback Mitch Sheridan kicked five out of six goals but unfortunately Magpie fullback Nash Porter kicked one from four.

“We came back at them a couple of times too,” Stewart said of the dogged Magpies side.

“They’d skip out, we’d come back but we couldn’t continue our momentum like they did. Their old heads controlled the game.”

Winger Joash Boney was one of the best for the Magpies and made plenty of metres running the ball back from deep inside his own half.

“Joash has been good for us the past few weeks,” Stewart said.

“Nathan Vaisey was  good too and Thomas Brown.

“We’ll take a bit out of this.”

North’s win enabled to remain second on the ladder with Werris Creek slipping to fifth.

Bears coach Paul Boyce was happy with the win, particularly the defence, but disappointed by the number of penalties his side conceded.

“Yeah, I was happy with the win and patches of the game,” he told Group 4 Media.

“We were up against in the second half and showed some real character,” he said of some strong and scrambling defence.

“We defended two or three sets multiple times.”

Prop Mark Simon was one of his side’s best “and gave us good go forward,” Boyce said.

“He had a high work rate; I thought Josh Schmiedel (Bears skipper) played terribly well too, especially in the first half.”

Schmiedel created the break for winger Senirusi Raque to score the first of his three tries when the skipper raced to the right side of the Bear attack and put “Bruce” through a huge hole for him to score a spectacular long range try.

The Bears coach thought his side will benefit from the match as well.

“We had a pretty soft preparation, hadn’t played for two weeks and we came up against a quality side like the Creek. They are going to be up there at the end of the season.”

Boggabri gets it done, but it wasn’t pretty

Boggabri won “ugly” according to its coach Shane Rampling when the Roos beat Dungowan Cowboys 20-13 at the Dungowan Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

The Roos converted a 10-7 halftime lead into a seven-point success in a grinding win that elevated it into the top four on for and against.

The Roos and Werris Creek are equal on 12 points but Boggabri has a slightly better for and against.

Roos coach Shane Rampling was delighted with the rare win at Dungowan, just their second in more than 20 years, but realistic about its performance.

“We won ugly,” Rampling told Group 4 Media after the game.

“Played some dumb football and invited them back into the game. We led 10-nil early and looked like world beaters but then we fell away from what we were doing right.

“Credit to Dungowan though, they came with a west sail.”

Rampling credited “our blokes” for “getting in the wrestle”, especially prop Nic Millar.

“Nic got us back on the front foot, got us back to what we do well. We probably bombed three tries too.”

Boggy’s two wingers, Josefa Goanduadua and Pita Rogasau, also excelled, both scoring tries for the visitors.

Dungowan coach, Jack Cameron, wasn’t disappointed with his side’s effort.

“I thought we played pretty good,” he told G4 Media.

“We went all right. Boggabri are a very good side, very aggressive side. I thought we were on the front foot for a lot of the game but they kept holding us out.

“To be honest I thought we played one of the best games of the season so far.”

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