By Geoff Newling, G4 Media
Gunnedah Bulldogs couldn’t have started their Group 4 clash with North Tamworth at Kitchener Park on Saturday any worse.
Young Bulldogs prop Clay McCann was injured in the first tackle of the game and took no further part in the Old Boys Day game for his side.
The son of club president David McCann, Clay injured neck and ribs in that opening as the Bulldogs proceeded to throw their game away with ill-discipline and errors.
“Norths did a lot of simple things right but four times in the first half we were inside their 30m and made mistakes on the first tackle,” Gunnedah coach Mick Schmiedel told G4 Media.
“Our completion rate (for the whole game) was about 25 per cent. We couldn’t get out of our own 30m for the first 20-25 minutes. It was the most ill-disciplined I’ve seen us for a long while. Not just with penalties but we made too many errors. You can’t give a team like North Tamworth the amount of possession we did.
“At one stage we were down to 10 men, and had three in the bin for ill-discipline.
“It was frustrating. The only good thing was they (Norths) only scored two tries while we were down to 10.
“It was disappointing but you have to give Norths credit, they were good and we weren’t good enough.”
He thought prop Lincon Smith was outstanding (apart from his 10 minutes in the bin) while fullback Dylan O’Brien Was “good and safe”. Winger Jared Heinrich and centre Mitch Fletcher also worked hard on a day where the Bulldogs self-destructed.
North Tamworth 40 (Amachai Roberts 2, Livinai Tuicakau 2, Kobe Bone 2, Misaele Vakacegau, Ben Jarvis tries, Adrian Graham 3gls) def Gunnedah 10 (Mitch Fletcher, Dylan Lake tries, Dylan O’Brien gl) G4 B&F: 3 Kobe Bone (NT), 2 Dylan O’Brien (G), 1 Liam Ball (NT). Next weekend: Round 4 – Saturday, May 7: North Tamworth v Kootingal (Jack Woolaston Oval), Gunnedah v Dungowan (Kitchener Park, Gunnedah), Narrabri v Moree (Collins Park, Narrabri). Sunday, May 8: Manilla v Boggabri (Manilla Showground), Werris Creek bye.