Despite losing coach Andrew George for the majority of the match, the Gunnedah Bulldogs have returned to their best in round two of the AFL North West competition.
George left the field with a concussion in the second term after Gunnedah had shut out Narrabri in the first quarter to lead 5.7 (37) to 0.0 (0) with the help of a strong breeze.
“We went with the wind in the first quarter and the plan was to use that to our advantage. We knew that wind was worth four or five goals,” Bulldogs captain Ben Maher said.
“But we went back into the wind in the second and we kicked more than the first quarter.”
Gunnedah’s accuracy was spot on with seven straight goals in the second quarter.
Another shutout in the third quarter saw Gunnedah take an unassailable 92-point lead.
The final score read 16.18 (114) to 4.1 (25) in favour of the Bulldogs.
Maher said the return of a number of players and opening round performers standing tall again contributed to the win.
“The young guys went really well again,” Maher said.
“Jasper Thomas and Ryan Wheatland played well.
“They all went well on the smaller field. Their pace just burned.
“Andy Mack and Isaac Reeves were also good and Matt Pengilly had an absolute screamer.
“He played on the half-forward and half-back line. He’s just a rock on the field. You don’t want to cop a hit from him.
“That extra big body is what we needed.”
Maher also lauded ruckman Liam Novley.
“He rucked all day. It was pretty unreal,” Maher said.
“He was pretty good. Winning most taps for us midfielders.”
Maher was one player to make the most of those ruck wins with three goals next to his name while fellow midfielder Jacob Spackman bagged four goals in the win.
Gunnedah plays at home on Saturday against Inverell.