RUGBY LEAGUE: Gunnedah Bulldogs under 18s suffered its first loss of the season when the side went down 36-22 to Farrer/North Tamworth at the weekend. 

The competition-leading Bulldogs are running in red hot form this season and up until Sunday, boasted an unblemished record of six wins from six games.

Bulldogs coach Paul Wicks said the side had accrued more than 300 points in attack and until recently, was averaging just eight points against each game.

He was confident about the talent and ability of this year’s Gunnedah squad, many who he has coached since under 12s. But he thought the boys were simply out-enthused at the weekend.

“We couldn’t compete a set and couldn’t get any field position,” Wicks said.

“We were pushing the ball sideways instead of playing direct.”

Farrer led at half-time and continued the dominance in the second half to hand Gunnedah its first defeat this year.

The coach hoped the humbling result would allow the team to reset and refocus before the tail end of the season.

“We’re still hoping to win the minor premiership,” Wicks said. 

“Hopefully the monkey is off our back now.”

While Bulldogs have controlled the scorelines this year, one thing beyond their control is the competition playing schedule.

Prior to the Farrer match, Gunnedah was running off three consecutive byes. 

There is no game this weekend due to the National Primary Games. 

They then play home-town Dungowan before more bye rounds and a final match against Kootingal.

“It is one of the worst draws I’ve seen in a competition,” he said.

Scoreboard: Under 18: Farrer/North Tamworth 36 (Max Smith 3, Logan Spinks, Nate Follington tries, Spinks 6gls) def Gunnedah 22 (Max Turner, Trent White, Matt Ross, Joc Ford tries, Zac Doring 2, Brad Fuller gls) G4 B&F: 3 Logan Spinks (FNT), 2 Billy Youman (G), 1 Oliver Sykes (FNT).

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