Lincoln Stewart charges forward against Barraba last weekend. Lincoln was the only try-scorer for Gunnedah reserve grade during its 29-7 loss. Photos: Sarah Stewart

The Gunnedah Red Devils’ First XV returns to the playing field against Inverell on Saturday – it’s first match in three weeks due to an amended competition draw.

Meanwhile, the Gunnedah club’s Reserve XV and Women’s 10s will be looking to bounce back from losses to Barraba last weekend.

Travelling away to face Barraba, the Gunnedah Women’s 10s team was missing a few of its usual try scorers. The depleted playing ranks resulted in Gunnedah suffering its first loss of the season, going down 38-10 to Barraba.

After Barraba scored quickly out wide with Gunnedah unable to match their pace, the Barraba side recognised its strength and replicated this game plan for the 40-minute game.

The Red Devils’ first try was scored after a penalty was awarded five metres from the try line after a big run from Dima Ranamalo. With a quick tap, Madisan Rogers charged through two defenders to secure the first points for Gunnedah.

The second and only other try was also scored off the back of strong carries from Gunnedah forwards such as Abby Nortrup, as hooker Chennelle Winsor charged from behind the ruck, beating a defender to score in the corner.

In the men’s Reserve XV, the Red Devils went down to the Barraba Rams 29-7.

Just like the women’s game, Barraba recognised Gunnedah’s forward pack as its strength and continued to attack the wings.

The Gunnedah forwards had some shining moments and strong carries from the likes of Nick Lions, Patrick Grant and Ronald Stinson, with a dominating scrum.

The only try scored by the Red Devils was a result of a pushover scum from five metres out from the line, with number 8 Lincoln Stewart crashing over the line.

John McKay added to the points and converted the try.

This weekend, Gunnedah Rugby Club will host Inverell in the men’s first and reserve grades of the Central North competition.

As Inverell were unable to raise a women’s 10s team this year, the Gunnedah women will host the Tamworth Pirates.

This year’s disrupted competition draw follows Walcha Rugby Club’s late withdrawal from the Central North competition to join the New England Competition.

As Walcha’s move was made with less than two weeks prior to the start of round one, and with many clubs having already booked in events for home games, a decision was made to keep the draw the same but with several byes for each team.

Head to Gunnedah Rugby Park at 12.50pm on Saturday to support the Red Devils in all three grades.

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