Gunnedah league tag and under 18s to build on skills

BUILDING: The Gunnedah under 18s side. Photo: Supplied
BUILDING: The Gunnedah under 18s side. Photo: Supplied

Gunnedah’s league tag and under 18s teams’ seasons may have finished one game short of the grand final this year in Group 4 but there’s plenty to build on going into 2018.

The under 18s were bundled out of the competition after suffering a 28-20 defeat to Narrabri Blues.

Coach Matt Buck is keen to coach again in 2018 and said the juniors are situated to give the competition a shake next year.

“I’d love to stick around and give it another crack and see if we can make the big one,” Buck said.

“We were a pretty young side and less than half will be going through to the seniors.

“I reckon they’ll go heaps better [in 2018] as long as they stick together and form a great team with the boys coming up from 16s.”

The game against Narrabri, which ended up being the Dogs’ final game of the season, was one that Gunnedah could have won, according to Buck.

“We had plenty of opportunities to get points on the board but credit to Narrabri, they defended really well on their line and they were ready for everything we threw at them,” Buck said.

The Gunnedah league tag side’s season finished in a similarly close fashion.

The Bulldogs went down in the preliminary final, 20-14, against North Tamworth.

That game continued a close run of games for Gunnedah and North Tamworth.

From three encounters between Gunnedah and North Tamworth in 2017 leading into the finals, both sides had won a game each and one ended in a draw. All in all, Gunnedah coach Paul Wicks was happy with the season.

“We had a good season, we were just unlucky not to beat Norths,” Wicks said.

Wicks was undecided if he’d coach again next year but said if the Bulldogs tighten up a couple key areas of their game, the sky’s the limit.

“Their own mistakes cost them with the ball. If you cut out a couple simple errors, they could have made the grand final and anything can happen then,” Wicks said.


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