AUSSIE RULES: Gunnedah Bulldogs AFL women’s Poochettes side continued its unbeaten 2022 season, defeating the New England Nomads women 89 to 11 in round 12 of the North West AFL women’s competition.

Victory by 78 points extends Gunnedah’s winning streak to 39, which dates back to its inaugural 2020 season to find the last time the side was beaten.

Through injury and illness the Poochettes didn’t have its full contingent of players which meant an opportunity for players to perform different roles than usually accustomed to.

Katrina Rekunow, regularly a wingwoman for the side, performed a starring role at centre-half forward in the absence of regular forwards Nikki Morrison and Gyarn Waugh. 

Waugh was nursing a broken rib suffered against the Inverell Saints a fortnight earlier.

Rekunow worked tirelessly to create a contest from entries following the impressive centre work of captain Rani Grant and Khobi Devine, while Maya Gallagher and Jemima Milton in the unfamiliar role of the ruck gave first use of the ball to their midfielders in Grant and Devine.

Laura Ewington was best on ground in her role of a small half-forward and she also interchanged through the centre as a rover to combine with Devine and Grant, having previously performed for the side on a half-back flank.

Ewington, much like her father Mark, was potent in front of goal and kicked four majors on the day.

The timing of Ewington to crumb the ground-ball was a highlight of her efforts in the centre, but also as a half-forward to continually win the contested ground-ball following the forward-50 entries toward centre half forward Rekunow.

Although conceding the first major of the match, the Poochettes’ ability to keep the Nomads to two majors through conceding a stringent 11 points was also a highlight on the day, where credit is afforded for the Poochettes’ backline.

Georgia Tibbs and Casey O’Connell were the key drivers for the Poochettes backline, using their speed to contest as the Nomads attempted to rebound from their defensive 50.

In halving their direct opponent and one-on-one contests, Tibbs and O’Connell then were able to win the ground ball and continually return the ball inside the attacking 50 metre arc of the Poochettes. 

Their effort afforded the likes of Rekunow to attack the footy and the small forwards to lock the ball inside 50 to continually pepper the Nomads’ goal.

The North West AFL competition takes a general bye this weekend which provides an opportunity for the Bulldogs club, both men and women, to recalibrate and regroup for their next matches against the Moree Suns at Gunnedah in round 13.

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