Round four of the North West AFL saw mixed results for the Gunnedah AFL Bulldogs as the club took on the Tamworth Kangaroos away in Tamworth last weekend.
The Poochettes women’s side continued their winning streak – dating back to 2020 – in thumping their counterparts 108-16 to obliterate the Kangaroos by 86 points.
Coach Jakob Vearing was ecstatic with his side’s performance and labeled it the best his side has played thus far this season.
Particularly impressive is the fact it was the first time since the Poochettes’ existence in North West AFL women’s competition that the side has been able to crack the 100 point barrier.
“I didn’t expect that, we just didn’t let up and that’s the most pleasing thing.
“The girls were thrilled to crack the ton, as was I for them,” Vearing said.
Alice Mitchell on the half back line was dynamite in setting up the forward movements from defence to attack, giving full forward Gyarn Waugh plenty of opportunity to use her strength in contested marking.
Waugh kicked six for the day, and Vearing altered his side a little for the match in moving the magnets which saw Nikki Morrison – predominantly a winger and defender – utilised at centre half forward.
The connection from the back half of the field to the forward line played to the strengths of Morrison and Waugh’s ability in aerial contested marking.
The engine room in the midfield of Katrina Rekunow, Rhani Grant and Khobi Devine laid the foundation out of the middle but Vearing was quick to say it was a complete performance from his side where all players contributed in equal capacity.
“All players had their moments, and everyone contributed.
“It’s great to see the enjoyment they have playing with each other.
“It shows in our results, but it’s still early in the season and the girls are aware of that,” Vearing reiterated.
The Bulldogs’ men’s side couldn’t reel in an early four goal deficit in their match against the Kangaroos men’s side.
Albeit a gutsy effort in an attempt to reel in the early margin, The Kangaroos kept the Bulldogs at arm’s length throughout the match and closed out a 26 point victory at 109-83.
Four goals inside the first five minutes of the match from the Kangaroos had the Bulldogs chasing the tail of the Kangaroos throughout the match which proved a bridge too far.
James Mack at full forward bagged four majors on the day as well as the evergreen Mark Ewington kicking a brace of goals to be the only multiple goal scorers for the Bulldogs.
Ryan Smith played the entire match in the middle of the ground and was labelled by coach Andy Mack as his side’s best on the day – Smith’s ability to win the ball at ground level was a highlight but also his pressure around the contest and tackling ability a standout.
“He tackled himself to a standstill.
“Won a lot of ball for us out of the centre too.
“Rewarded himself with a nice goal.
“Snapped one over his shoulder after perfect front and square roving,” Mack highlighted.
Al Hillard was dominant in the ruck – the Kangaroos using three different direct opponents in an attempt to nullify his involvement – like Smith rewarded himself with a goal on the day and in conjunction both players were the standouts for the Bulldogs in a tough loss.
Coach Mack was thrilled with the effort his side gave on the day particularly being 24 nil down early on.
“They kicked the first three or four goals one after another.
Although losing the match, he is impressed the improvement his side is showing each week.
“We aren’t too far behind, they’re looked at as one of the better sides of the competition so we are improving” Mack said.
Round five will see the Bulldogs and Poochettes take on Inverell at home.To order photos from this page click here