KOOTINGAL’S domination of Second Division continued on the weekend as they dismantled Dungowan early to set up a win with an ugly but entertaining second half taking the focus away from Kooty’s best 40 minutes this season as they travel to Boggabri.
Undefeated so far this season, the Roosters have been finding ways to win all year, at times against the odds and plan to do so again at Boggy.
An injury crisis hit the ladder leaders early in the year, and when they lost former North Tamworth halfback Brett Cloake for the season in round five it could have spelt disaster, but it didn’t.
That very game utility back Ben Williams stepped into the role and the Roosters barely missed a beat.
Captain coach Nathan Hamlin leads from the front along with lightweight hooker Matt McCulloch, arguably the comps best hooker.
The two of them have kept the forwards humming, but it is 20 year old Jordan Sharpe that has been pulling the strings out wide.
Sharpe gives plenty of direction around the ruck but also has the ability to light up a very dangerous and experienced backline.
Veteran winger Jeremy Moss is leading the tryscorers tally with 11, with fullback Paul Ford equal third on nine.
“There is a lot of belief in the team this year,” Sharpe said.
“That was our best half of the year but it got away from us a bit.”
The pivot said that Boggabri will be a challenge after such a tough game last week.
Dungowan will bounce back hosting last placed Manilla while the match of the round will see the premiers in Walcha.
Barraba are going up the hill at full strength and looking to consolidate that second place.
Secretary Jacob Hawley said that Walcha are always tough in Walcha but the boys look good.
“We just need to concentrate on doing our stuff for the rest of the season,” Hawley said.
Both Mallise boys Jock and Zac are available and add to the depth at Barraba which may get tested at the business end of the year.
“We had a look at training and Coombsy (Tim Coombes) said it is possible we could play Dungowan four times,” Hawley said.
Ronny ‘Woo Train’ Wheeler will also come back from injury onto the bench looking for a second try.
“We have three or four blokes that miss out each week,” Hawley said.
“Although it is on a rotation and no one ever sits out two in a row,”
The Bulldogs are holding a re-union weekend celebrating the 1974 premiership winning side in three weeks.
The club is hoping the crowd can inspire them to a win over ladder leaders Kootingal in the penultimate round.