KAIDYN Saunders has taken a trip from Werris Creek to Kootingal and from number one to number 13 on the way.
The former Creek fullback is now a lock in the ladder-leading Kootingal Roosters and played a big role in their win over premiers Barraba on Saturday at home.
“Fish (Nathan Hamlin) thought it would be a good idea to put me in the forwards when I got here,” Saunders said.
“I like it – it is good being up front in defence.
“It was tough playing against Creek and some mates I have played with my whole life though.”
On Saturday the lock had plenty to do on the right, looking after Bulldogs attack weapons Luke White and Zac Mallise.
Not only did the Creek junior keep them relatively quiet all day, he also turned the tables on them and put some points on of his own.
After a great counter-attacking run from evergreen winger Jeremy Moss, the ball was swung to the other side of the field by some good vision from Jordan Sharpe.
The ball hit a flying Saunders on the chest for him to weave in behind the scattered line and sell the fullback a dummy before crossing under the posts for the Roosters’ second.
While that was his only try, the lock had several other big runs and busts down that side during the tough hit-out.
“It is always good to get a bit of ball and room down the side,” Saunders said.
“And they were only really attacking down that side so it was good to get some tackles in as well.”
One of the main reasons behind his positional change is his love of defensive work.
“I love floating around in there and trying to get some shots on,” Saunders said.
“It is a good positive position and great being in close.”
A win next week in Walcha would see Kootingal go through the first round undefeated after bowing out in the semi-finals last season.
Despite players dropping like flies lately from injury, the Roosters keep on finding a way to win.
They play like a team of mates and seem to be close on and off the field which goes a long way in bush footy.
“It is a pretty good team here and we play positive footy,” Saunders said.
“When we get some players back we will be even stronger as well. We should go real close this year.”