By Sarah Stewart

The Gunnedah Red Devils faced a challenging match-up as they travelled to Moree to take on the Bulls last Saturday. Despite a valiant effort, the first grade men’s team suffered its most significant loss of the season, with a final score of 49 to 22.

Gunnedah faced additional hurdles with several key players from their starting 15 unavailable for the weekend clash. The Moree Bulls capitalised on their opponents’ errors, exploiting them effectively to secure numerous scoring opportunities.

Hamish Hockings and Will Burke take on the Moree defence in first grade.

Despite the setback, Gunnedah showcased moments of brilliance on the field. Winger Joji Somumu impressed with a spectacular dive over the opposition to score the team’s first try, showcasing determination and skill. The forward pack demonstrated strength and resilience, as exemplified by second rower Tim McDermott’s surge through the opposition for a try. This performance was mirrored by prop Ben Hamparsum, who scored in similar fashion, further highlighting Gunnedah’s dominance in the forward battle. After relentless forward pack attack plays, number 8 Will Burke, added to the tally with another try, supported by Cameron Mitchell’s successful conversion.

In reserve grade, Gunnedah managed to put points on the board with penalty conversions kicked by John McKay, but fell short with a score of 43-6.

The newly launched third grade team nearly clinched a win, but a twist of fate in the final seconds saw Moree emerge victorious with a narrow 24-21 scoreline.

In the women’s 10s competition, the Gunnedah Red Devils women initially struggled in the first quarter, committing numerous errors that allowed Moree to finish the quarter in the lead.

However, after a crucial team talk to refocus, Gunnedah began to fight back with renewed determination.

After some outstanding runs through the middle by workhorse, Dima Ranamalo, Gunnedah was able to give Holly Ford space to run and eventually tally up four tries for the day.

Contributions from Madisan Rogers and Stephie Lennon also helped turn the tide in Gunnedah’s favour. Additionally, Peta Lawrence not only scored a try but also showcased her newfound skills in kicking, knocking over four conversions throughout the day. Despite the slow start, the Red Devils women secured a solid win with a final score of 41-19.

Looking ahead, Gunnedah men will regroup as they prepare to face the Scone Brumbies this Saturday. This will be an exciting game as the Red Devils aim to bounce back and secure their first win of the season.

Dima Ranamalo and Madisan Rogers make a break downfield for Gunnedah.

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