BY Geoff Newling, Group 4 Media.

BOGGABRI Kangaroos head back to Gunnedah looking for a better result in the local derby with the Bulldogs than they suffered against North Tamworth at Kitchener Park, Gunnedah last Saturday.

The Kangaroos will be without suspended Andrew Wallace, injured Aaron Hobden (ribs) and stalwart forward Jay Urquhart (work).

It might not stop there either.

“We have a couple more having fitness tests Friday night,” coach Shane Rampling told G4 Media.

The Roos were humbled by North Tamworth last Saturday and need to improve although they did play the second half with 12 men.

The Roos also have three new Fijians to strengthen their 2024 side with Epeli Vulaserau, Josefa Gonduadua and Malakai Kovekalou flying in for the club.

Kovekalou, in particular, couldn’t have been more impressive last Saturday making a number of breaks with some strong runs.

“Malakai can only get better,” Shane Rampling said.

“He’s a strong runner and a ball player as well. He’ll give us something we lacked last year.”

Rampling said the Roos have a “couple of debutantes” running on against the Bulldogs.

Keegan Woodhead will debut on the wing while Jake Byrne comes off the bench after ‘playing reggies last year in the backrow”.

“He tuns hard,” Rampling added.

That the Roos have had 40 at training for the two senior sides this week means they will have some depth.

Gunnedah tried hard against Werris Creek in their first round clash last Saturday with fullback Emori Waqavulagi one of their impressive debutantes.

The former rugby union player scored two scintillating tries in the 38-10 loss and looks to be a handy acquisition for new coach Sean Hayne.

GUNNEDAH: Unavailable.

BOGGABRI:  1 Thomas Bruce, 2 Keegan Woodhead, 3 Epeli Vulaserau, 4 Robert Doolan, 5 Josefa Gonduadua, 6 Isaiah Adams, 7 Jack Hayes, 8 Nic Millar, 9 Matt Gillham (capt), 10 Stino Penisoni, 11 Cameron Kerr, 12 Mitch Fletcher, 13 Malakai Kovekalou, 14 Jake Byrne, 15 Matt Avandano. Coach – Shane Rampling.

Gunnedah Bulldogs Rugby League Club playing Werris Creek Magpies last weekend. Photo: Dylan Smith

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