TAMWORTH Kangaroos kicked their way to a shot at the Tamworth AFL minor premiership with a dominant display at Wolseley Park on Saturday.
Gunnedah had few answers to the Roos’ brilliance in the first half and, at 13.9.87 to 6.4.40 at the main break, it seemed academic the Roos would take the points.
Which they did, although the Bulldogs did manage to bridge the gap a bit in the second half, with the Roos getting up 18.16.124 to 14.10.94.
But the mountain was too big to climb after the Roos’ early blitz.
They came out firing, booting seven goals in the first term to open up a 33-point lead at the first change.
The Bulldogs responded in the second but couldn’t take any ground off the Roos, as they piled on another six goals to the Bulldogs’ three.
“We kicked into gear a little after half-time,” Bulldogs coach Errol Lather said.
Not surprisingly, he said their first quarter was what cost them.
“We didn’t man up enough,” he said.
They let the Roos have too much space and allowed them to run.
“They’re not a side you can give them freedom like that,” Lather said.
“But we put it to them after half-time.
“Our last quarter, especially, was fantastic.”
They outscored the Roos five goals to two in the final term.
The key was their tighter defence.
“We went man on man and we closed two or three of their good players down,” Lather said.
He said their biggest problem was putting four good quarters together.
Their last outing at home they were good for three quarters and led then competition leaders Inverell Saints but faded in the fourth.
“But we’re improving at the right end of the season,” Lather said.
The dangerous Roos duo of Dan Overeem and Matt Hodge again dominated up front, kicking four goals each, while for the Dogs, Chris Gee kept his chances of snaring the Gerry Griffiths Medal with four goals.
Shane Murphy and Farran Lamb also both chipped in with two and were among the Bulldogs’ best along with Andrew George, Matt Pengilly, Scott Hardy and Paul Brown.
Best for the Roos were Ben Coombes, Tim Cotter and Alex Hudson.