RUGBY LEAGUE: Boggabri Kangaroos moved up a spot on the WEG Group First Grade ladder when they beat Gunnedah Bulldogs 32-28 in their local derby at Kitchener Park on Sunday.
In a game that could have gone either way the Roos were able to come back from a 22-10 half time deficit to score a crucial derby win.
Boggabri was sixth on the first grade table entering the game but moved to fifth, jumping past Narrabri, who they play at Narrabri this Sunday.
It was a crucial win for the Roos, who needed to bounce back after a bad loss to North Tamworth the previous week.
They had started well too, leading 12-nil but the Bulldogs struck back with four tries to lead by 12 at the break.
“Who wants to be a coach?” Shane Rampling said.
“Fair dinkum. The first 10 minutes we were brilliant, scored two good tries. But then we switched off, gave away dumb penalties and dropped the ball in good field positions. We just went away from what we had been doing well. It just flipped.
“I was dumbfounded.”
Gunnedah took over and showed coach Mick Schmiedel and their supporters just what they are capable of.
“It wasn’t as if we switched off but we just let it slip,” Schmiedel said of the 22-10 halftime lead.
“I came away happy from the game, not so much that we were competitive but it was about playing good football for long minutes. We didn’t switch off but gave away some penalties when we didn’t need to. It was frustrating to watch. I thought we were the better side and deserved to win.
“We had a chance in the final minute to score wide out and level it up but missed that opportunity. If we are going to be a genuine contender we’ve got to defend those errors we make better, we didn’t defend them well.”
Schmiedel thought prop Lincon Smith was outstanding for the Bulldogs.
“I told him I thought that was his best game this season,” Schmiedel said.
“Dylan Lake and Dylan O’Brien were good too and Will Patterson was a late chance and played well. Energetic winger Sam Lavis also gave a wholehearted performance.
Boggabri backrower Cameron received the three points in the G4 Best & Fairest Award and his coach thought he deserved them.
“He had a big game for us, played really well.
“He’s a handful when he runs the ball and defended strongly.
“Nick Hobden stepped up for us too. Only a lightweight he played lock, defended for the full 80 minutes and made some good breaks.”
He said centre Paula Dinauvoli was another to play well.
“He was a handful,” Rampling said.
Mick Schmiedel agreed, the Gunnedah coach thinking the head-geared Dinauvoli was their best, causing his side trouble every time he touched the ball.
Shane Rampling added five-eighth Kaylan Murray to a long list of players deserving accolades after having a hand in a lot of the Roo raids.
“The two Nic’s were great too,” Rampling added.
“They did a mountain of work for us.”