The Group 4 Rugby League season has started with a bang after Gunnedah hosted the inaugural ‘footy fest’ at Kitchener Park on Saturday.

An action-packed day of first grade football was delivered to the packed Gunnedah grounds, with the Gunnedah Bulldogs the last team to take to the field against the Werris Creek Magpies.

The Magpies prevailed 38-10 in the opening game of the season.

The Werris Creek team turned an early 10-nil lead into a 20-4 halftime advantage to a comprehensive 38-10 win.

Bulldogs fullback Emori Waqavulagi impressed scoring two brilliant tries, one a short range effort where he left three Creek defenders grasping at thin air and the other an 80m dash where he easily won the race to the line.

That second try gave the Bulldogs a glimmer of hope as they reduced the deficit to 20-10, but it was Werris Creek who exerted the authority with Hadden crossing for two of his three tries in the space of five minutes, the second from a scrum win 20 metres out where he finished off some neat work by new halfback Mitch Doring.

Hadden scored three of the eight Magpie tries and Doring excelled as well.

Dave Murnane was also impressive, marking his debut for the Magpies with the second of two tries.

Gunnedah coach Sean Hayne was disappointed in his side’s lack of ball security.

“We just made too many mistakes,” Hayne told Group 4 Media.

“We might have completed just five sets of six for the whole game.

“We turned over too much ball. And we didn’t defend our mistakes either. You can’t give a team like them that much ball.”

He said his side needs to eliminate the mistakes and control the ball if it is to turn around the loss.

“Unfortunately we didn’t control the ball and didn’t defend those mistakes,” he said of a side now preparing to tackle Boggabri in a huge local derby at Kitchener Park, Gunnedah this weekend.


WERRIS CREEK 38 (Ronan Hadden 3, Dave Murnane 2, Kieren Williams, Nate Follington, Mitch Doring tries, Mitch Doring 3gls) d GUNNEDAH 10 (Emori Waqavulagi 2 tries, DJ Smith gl) G4 B&F: 3 Dylan Porter (WC), 2 Mitchell Cox (WC), 1 Emori Waqavulagi (G).


WERRIS CREEK 36 (Joash Boney 2, Dylan Walker 2, Tyren Cloake, Sam Tickle, Isaah Millgate tries, Walker 4gls) d GUNNEDAH 20 (Ethan Kelly 2, Max Turner, Will Maggs, Ethan Kelly 2gls). G4 B&F: Isaah Millgate (WC), 2 Seb Lawler (WC), 1 Tom Randall (G).


WERRIS CREEK 18 (Chloe Shanley, Jess Prior, Dayna Porter, Mia Cloake tries, Cloake gl) d GUNNEDAH 8 (Zoe Fleming, Tara Wilkinson-Ryan tries) G4 B&F: 3 Chloe Shanley (WC), 2 Piper Rankmore (G), 1 Mia Cloake (WC).

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