BRETT Douglas and his Kangaroos know they dodged a bullet at Gunnedah last Saturday and will be in the firing line even further when they head to Narrabri this Saturday to line up against the improving Narrabri Eagles in a crucial Tamworth AFL game for the home side.
The Roos beat Gunnedah Bulldogs by just four points in Saturday’s TAFL match, eking out an 11.15 81 to 11.11 77 victory in the wet.
Roos coach Brett Douglas said his side scrounged out a tough win.
“It was a good battle in the wet.
“Gunnedah played well and got away by a goal from us in the first quarter.”
The Roos responded though and led by 14 at halftime and 18 by three-quarter time.
However the Bulldogs stormed back, with captain-coach John Woolaston marshalling his troops for Andrew George, James Mack, Andrew Pratt, David Vidovic and Luke Curgenven to spearhead a desperate surge.
George kicked three goals and Jake Vigor and Ben Middlebrook two each for the Bulldogs to fall just a kick short of an upset win.
“Both sides had their chances in the final quarter,” Douglas said after the match.
“The boys (Roos) played well but Gunnedah have improved a lot since we played them in the first round.”
Matthew Hodge kicked six goals for the Roos but Brad Rees might have been their best, Douglas said.
“He had a big game at the back – was as solid as ever.
“Rob Sizer played well too. That’s just his third game for the club and he stopped a lot of their attack on the back flank.”
Nic Frawley also earned praise from his coach.
“It was a good win but we have another tough battle at Narrabri this week.
“We did have a few out and might have them back and a few others out.”
The Roos head to Narrabri to tackle an Eagles outfit which pushed the unbeaten Nomads all the way and actually led the Zac Econmou-coached side at three-quarter time.
Captain-coach Todd Dunn is hopeful his side’s resurgence continues this Saturday after Michael Miskle, Mark Barrow, Michel Levin and Giulio Hiemoana spearheaded their good Armidale effort on Saturday.
“The Roos have some good quality players,” Dunn said.
“It will be a good test for us but we are starting to get a few players back from injury – we had five or six still out for the Nomads.”
While the Eagles host the Roos, Tamworth Swans tackle the Nomads at No 1 Oval Tamworth and Inverell Saints are at home to the Gunnedah Bulldogs.