Gunnedah Bulldogs AFL enjoyed dual success last weekend – the men’s Bulldogs and women’s Poochettes sides both travelling to Moree and notching wins in round three of the competition.
On a scorching day for AFL football, the Bulldogs men travelled light with a bare 17 of a possible 22 players available on the day.
A win was vital in order to keep spirits aloft following two losses in the first two rounds of the competition.
Mark Ewington was an old dog with new tricks, bagging seven majors at full forward – one an impressive snap from the boundary line to seal the match for the Bulldogs.
The Jakob Vearings-coached Poochettes continued their impressive form and notched their 31st win in a row. The team’s last loss occurred during its inaugural senior women’s season in 2020.
The side tops the ladder with three wins straight for 2022 where on each occasion the victory has been more than 50 points.
In closing out the match 62-8 last weekend, Vearing was able to offer the services of his own squad to Moree to help match players numbers on the day.
An opportunity to play other members of the Poochettes squad was well received by his playing group.
Moving forward, Vearing said it could benefit the team through match awareness and situations against stiffer opposition which could prove invaluable later in the year.
“Ideally it wouldn’t happen but it gave players who might not have played on the day an opportunity,” he said.
“It was good to have match simulation on match day, if that makes sense.”
Kat Rekunow on the wing continued her impressive season – labelled as best on ground by Vearing. Alice Mitchell in the backline also repelled any attacking opportunities the Moree side had and quickly converted defence into attack.
Gyarn Waugh at full forward kicked four majors on the day and is looming as a key contributor to the Poochettes and potential leader in the goal tally for this season’s competition.
The Bulldogs men’s side was in the winner’s circle having held a full strength joint venture side at bay, closing out the match 87-74.
Nick Baird in the ruck was dominant and consistently gave his midfield first use of the football from the centre ball up.
Adam Curgenven was a shining light for the side where his two-way running and ability to find the ball at ground level in midfield continually held the wave of attack at bay.
Coach Andy Mack believed along with Curgenven – named captain for the side on the day – that all players contributed to a much-needed win for his side.
“Adam was huge, as was Bairdy in the ruck,” Mack said. “Everyone contributed, but to travel short and come up against a full strength side and take away a win was massive for us.”
He is hoping it could become a building block for the remainder of the season for his side, particularly as new players continue to build combinations within the squad.
“A lot of guys are still learning the game, so it was huge for them to taste a win. You could see the desperation and how much they wanted it. Credit to the guys who played, they deserved the win.”
Tamworth Kangaroos await both Bulldogs squads in Tamworth this weekend for round four of the competition.