Gwydir League has well and truly stamped itself on the Group 19 competition with another dominant display. Following the 72-6 hiding of the Tingha Tigers, the new Club gave Armidale 50 – 22 touch up on the Ram’s home ground. What was most significant was that Armidale had to score 10 points in the last few minutes to put some respectability into their effort.
Despite having players missing from the Tingha 1st grade squad, the replacements (Mick Wade, Aaron Rodilossi, Michael Hodges, Steve Calman, and Caleb Austin) slotted in for what was a wonderful performance away from home. The Rams were the first to score 30 seconds from kick off and had to wait until the final minutes of the first half before they got another. In between Gwydir took total control to lead 34 – 12 at the break and cruise to a 50 – 22 win.
While the attack was sparkling with tries to Mitchell Porter (3), Harold Duncan (2), Ted Cleal, Casey Bowman and Adam Rodilossi, the defence was the platform for the win. Armidale has some classy players, including imports from the islands and England; however the Gwydir boys had all the answers. Forwards, Brendon Critchlow, Tyler Dennison, Steven Garrett, plus all the replacements were dominant. Todd Simpson continued his great form with the boot to kick 5 goals, most from the sidelines and handled the 5/8 roll with ease. Besides those mentioned, Luke Thom at half, Nathan McGrady (Centre) Ashley Churchland (Centre) and Ted Cleal (wing) were always in control.
Brendon Critchlow picked up both the NBN and the referee’s best for his non- stop display, especially the yards gained through the centre. Mitch Porter was awarded two points and Todd Simpson(1). Player’s Player was Porter.
While the A Grade dished it out to the Rams, the Gwydir Reserves were nothing like the side that thrashed Tingha the previous week. Behind 4 – 36 at the break, they improved marginally to lose 22 -60. Some excuses can be made as players were elevated to the top grade, however when one considers the depth in the Club, this is hardly an excuse. The team played without structure, especially in defence. On the other hand the individual efforts were great, they just didn’t work as a team and at least this is solvable by the coaches. Players Player was Mark Sankey. Scorers were Ashley Thompson (2), Aaron Rodilossi and Steve Calman. Goals to Calman and Thompson (2)
The Ladies League Tag suffered from many changes and player unavailability, to lose 0 – 40. While everyone gave 100%, nothing went right and it was certainly an experience to forget. The important thing however is that all the girls deserve a medal for turning up when they knew that it would be very tough and this will provide the platform to build into the competitive team that we all know they can be. Well done girls, the Club and supporters are proud of your efforts. Player’s Player was Stacey Duff.
Next weekend are the Group trials at Tamworth and Gwydir has Mitch Porter, Brendon Critchlow, Harold Duncan, Luke Thom and Matty Cleal in the Group 19 squad. This is another recognition that Gwydir is becoming a powerful force in Group 19 and both the Wombats and Bullets can be very proud of their joint effort.
The following week, Gwydir travels to Ashford.
- Tingha d Inverell (36-6)
- Glen Innes d Ashford (54-18)
- Tingha d Inverell (28-12)
- Glen Innes d Ashford (48-14)
- Moree d Uralla (46-16)
- Uralla d Moree (40 – 4)
- Tingha d Inverell (30-18)
- Glen Innes d Ashford (62-8)