When the local rivalry between Boggabri and Gunnedah reignited this year, a whole new rivalry also kick-started – the Devine derby.
For the second time in league tag this year, Boggabri’s Peta Devine will play with one daughter, Braie, and against another daughter, Khobi, who will turn out in the blue, red and white at Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
The girls’ dad, Sam, is stuck in the middle but will – as always – be Switzerland in this duel and wear neutral colours to the game.
While the competitive juices will flow when they take to the field, all three Devines take the rivalry clash in good spirits.
“It’ll be interesting. There’ll be a bit of banter,” Braie said.
“I enjoy it because it gets that competitive side of you out,” Khobi said
Peta added: “And there's a bit of a fun element about it. You step up to make sure no one gets around each other.”
Peta made the move to Boggabri this year to play with Braie after playing at Gunnedah for four years alongside Khobi.
Following a long run of injury, Braie linked up Boggabri last year after attending a few training runs.
“I knew that they had a really good club mentality out there. A couple of my friends played out there,” Braie said.
“After babysitting a couple of their kids for them at training, I decided to go out and have a run with them and see how I liked it.”
Last time the two teams met, the Bulldogs claimed bragging rights with a 26-14 win.
With that game in mind, Peta and Braie will be working as hard as ever to prevent another loss.
“The drive from the field to the pub, she (Khobi) didn't shut up about who won. So, she nearly didn't get home that night,” Peta joked.
“But no, it's still good. It's not as competitive as it is fun with banter, stirring each other up.”
The game promises to be closer this time around.
The sixth-placed Kangaroos have clicked into gear and head in with three wins on the trot.
The Bulldogs sit one spot higher on the ladder but head into the game on the back of a loss to North Tamworth.
“My honest opinion, it could go either way this weekend,” Peta said.
“When we first played Gunnedah, as much as I wanted to take that win, I wasn't disappointed that we didn’t because we were fairly green...but I honestly think it'll be a lot more competitive as far as skill.”
“Boggabri, watching them the past few weeks, their defence has improved out of sight. I think that's going to shock our girls when they go out, just the difference in their improvement. I’ll be interested in how they handle it, actually,” Khobi said.
Peta also said there were a plethora of other mini friendly rivalries intertwined into the match.
Being Boggabri and Gunnedah, it’s not just us. All the girls know each other,” she said.
“They can play oztag and touch with each other in the summer and then come up against each other. There’s a lot of fun in it.”
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