New England Nomads nullify Bulldogs’ bite

By Ellen Dunger (Armidale Express, 04/04/2017)
New England Nomads left Gunnedah Bulldogs licking their wounds after soaring to a 49-point victory in the season opener on Saturday.

The reigning AFL North West premiers haven’t lost a game in two years and proved why they are the team to beat again this year at Armidale’s Bellevue Oval.

The Nomads nailed six goals in the opening quarter to lead by 23 before the Bulldogs fought back late in the second and third.

The visitors ran out of puff in the final quarter as the defending champions kept them scoreless to win 16.11-107 to 7.6-48.

“It was probably much tighter than the score showed particularly just before halftime,” Nomads coach Tom Hunt said.

“Gunnedah came back and kicked a couple of goals before halftime which gave them a bit of momentum but we ran away with it the last quarter.

“We dozed off and Gunnedah are good quality opposition and they showed us you just can’t afford to do that so when we came back out in the start of the third quarter, we just made sure that we were ready to go and didn’t repeat it.”

The local team had plenty of player changes in the off season and Hunt said their new stars stepped up for the club on Saturday.

“Jeremy Ratcliffe played in the middle and was very good for us, winning a lot of the hard footy and James Treweeke moved from the ruck to play full forward and provided a good, strong target up front and a good straight kick too,” he said.

The Armidale-based team are back at Bellevue again this Saturday as they suit up against their grand final opponents Tamworth Kangaroos.

Hunt said his side can’t afford lapses in concentration as they aim to continue their unbeaten run.

“It is going to be a very tough game so we are looking forward to it,” he said.

“Against these good sides, Gunnedah and Tamworth, you just can’t afford to turn off, you have to play the whole game.”

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

Round 1 2017

Nomads def. Bulldogs
 GBP GBP
Q15030 117
HT10363 4529
Q313482 7648
FT1611107 7648

Team:

  • C. Barker,
  • L. Bettington,
  • S. Bioletti,
  • V. Chakalisa,
  • L. Cudmore,
  • A. Dawson,
  • C. Graham,
  • W. Hall,
  • T. Hunt,
  • E. Karpany,
  • S. Macdonald,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • J. Petrascu,
  • T. Phillips,
  • J. Ratcliffe,
  • L. Raymond,
  • D. Richards,
  • S. Snowden,
  • P. Tobias,
  • J. Treweeke,
  • M. Walker,
  • S. Wilson.

Goalscorers:

  • J. Treweeke (4),
  • C. Barker (3),
  • D. Richards (3),
  • M. Walker (2),
  • C. Graham,
  • L. Raymond,
  • P. Mitchell,
  • S. Macdonald.

Award winners:

  • C. Barker (Players' Player),
  • S. Wilson (Coach's),
  • J. Ratcliffe (President's),
  • S. Macdonald (Captain's),
  • J. Treweeke (Meehan's Plumbing Services').

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