The Gunnedah Bulldogs have been beaten by the Tamworth Swans with coach Andy Mack highlighting a couple areas that proved to be "the difference" in the match.
At quarter time, the deficit was 24 points and it increased at each break as the Bulldogs went down 22.15 (147) to 11.7 (73) in Tamworth.
Despite the result, Mack said all-in-all it was "a good game of footy".
"I think the Swans had a bit more run and spread than we did and a little bit more structure," he said.
"We've got a fair few new guys still learning the game. I think in passages we were at least up to speed with [the Swans].
"I thought the Swans put together four pretty solid quarters which was the difference."
Sam Proudfoot was named best on for the Bulldogs for the tagging role he played on Swans "danger player" and captain Adam Cruickshank.
"I thought they battled really well together, it was a good contest between them," Mack said of Cruickshank and Proudfoot.
Mack also made note of a string of players that rotated through the midfield throughout the day.
"The regulars - Benny [Maher] and Georgey [Andrew George] - out of the middle and Des Tuckerman were good. Unfortunately he had to leave at half-time," Mack said.
"Nick Ferguson, our ruckman, he went all day. That was a massive effort.
"He won a lot of taps and he's another guy that's relatively new. Still learning his craft a bit."
Mark Ewington led the way with the boot and kicked four goals for the Bulldogs while Ryan Smith kicked three in his first game of footy.
"He was very impressive, I thought," Mack said of Smith.
"He basically just rocked up to training - his girlfriend plays in the women's side.
"He's pretty keen and been watching a few games during the week to learn a few things.
"He's got decent skills and hopefully he sticks at it."
Gunnedah's under 14s side scored a 12.7 (79) to 2.1 (13) win over the Tamworth Roosters while the women's side also picked up a win.
The Poochettes beat the Swans 9.6 (60) to 4.4 (28) with Alice Mitchell starring.
Mitchell kicked two goals and was named Gunnedah's best on the day.
Zoe Palmer, Khobi Devine, Casey O'Connell, Natasha Fisher and Christie Chapman were also named in Gunnedah's best players.
The Poochettes remain undefeated so far this season and have now set up a mouth-watering clash this weekend.
Gunnedah will host Inverell this Saturday at Wolseley Oval. Neither team has lost a game with the Saints sitting atop the ladder with a better percentage.
The women's game will kick off at 12pm with the men to follow at 2pm. The under 14s have a bye.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: