The Gunnedah Bulldogs’ under-18 side will tackle Farrer-North Tamworth in this weekend’s Group 4 Rugby League grand final at Dungowan.
After beating the Farrer outfit once already this year, Bulldogs’ coach Paul Wicks is quietly confident his troops have what it takes to win the season decider.
“They would be over the moon [to win it], it’s something we’ve been building for for years,” Wicks said of the Bulldogs squad, many who played together since under-10s.
The Gunnedah team started the 2022 season strongly and won the first six consecutive rounds but succumbed to Farrer 36-24 in the major semi-final played at North Tamworth.
Wicks said a long layoff between matches did not help their cause.
“To the major semi-final, we had seven weeks off football because of the way the Group 4 scheduled the draw,” he said.
The Bulldogs re-grouped to win last weekend’s elimination final comfortably with a 32-0 defeat of Narrabri.
“Defence won us the game but we changed a few things in attack as well,” Wicks said.
New players this season for the Bulldogs include front-rower, Zack Doring, five-eight Brad Fuller from Coonabarabran and second-row forward Billy Youman who travels from Guyra for training and matches.
“We’ve lost a few good players but we’ve gained a few as well,” the coach said.
Max Turner will captain the side in place of Trent White, who will miss the game due to injury.
The Gunnedah team plans to train on Friday night before reconvening on Saturday for a grand final breakfast and travelling by bus to the game.
The under-18s kick-off at 11.35am at Dungowan.To order photos from this page click here