By Geoff Newling

Boggabri and District Rugby League Football Club’s first grade side “rued” what might have been when it almost began its 2021 Group 4 Rugby League first grade season with a local derby victory against the Gunnedah Bulldogs at Jubilee Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The Roos led their opening round clash with their near neighbours 20-18 midway through the second half but couldn’t find the right execution to continue the job.

“Simple errors cruelled us,” Boggabri coach Shane Rampling lamented when talking to Group 4 Media after the game.

“We got into good positions but just dropped the ball.

“I said to the boys at half-time, whoever holds the ball will win.”

His words were painfully true for the resurgent Roos.

Some of the blame for the mistake rate can be attributed to the fact the Kangaroos had 11 first grade debutants.

“We have got to learn to play together,” Rampling.

“Hopefully the next couple of weeks we’ll start to find a groove.”

While disappointed by the mistake rate he still thought the effort was “fantastic”.

“The best thing is we have plenty of improvement. We gave Gunnedah a major fright but there is still a lot of improvement there for us.”

Josh Trindall shared the Boggabri side’s players’ player award with Rob Doolan and Nick Millar while new halfback Kaylan Murray was awarded the three Group 4 best and fairest points even though he was on a losing side.

“Kaylan was dangerous,” Rampling said.

“He and Josh steered us around very well.”

Boggabri’s Mitchell Fletcher bagged two tries while teammates Doolan and Trindall crossed once each. Doolan and Murray kicked a goal each.

Gunnedah was victorious earlier in the day in both reserve grade and ladies’ league tag.

The Bulldogs won the reserve grade contest 26-14 against the Kangaroos after winning the league tag match 40-0.

Jayde Campbell, Nick Hobden and Rodney Orchard scored tries for the Kangaroos in the reserve grade game while Campbell kicked one goal and earned two Group 4 best and fairest points.

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