A group of Gunnedah boys played an integral role for the Whitehaven Coal-sponsored Gomeroi Roos at the NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout in the under 17s division this year at Leichardt.
There was 25 teams in the division making it one of the strongest competitions in recent years. It was the third year the Gomeroi Roos had entered a team at the knockout.
Players were sourced from towns based in the Gomeroi Nation with captain Michael Long, Dylan Porter, Perin Smith, James Hogbin, Tyrone Draper, Tyrone Rankmore and Jacob Long making up the Gunnedah contingent of the 21-player squad.
In the Roos’ first game of the competition, they came up against Southern Serpent United. The Gomeroi boys played a strong, powerful game and their dominance showed on the scoreboard with the Roos taking away a 30-0 win.
It was never going to be easy in round two with Gomeroi facing off with the Moree Boomerangs. The first half of the clash was as tough and close as they come with the teams locked at 4-all. However, the Boomerangs showed their class in the last 10 minutes of the match and ran away with the game to win 24-4.
Gomeroi Roos manager Michael Long snr said it was good to see the boys play at such a high level and was looking forward to seeing the boys use the what they learned at the tournament at a local level.
Long thanked Brian Draper, Richie Porter and Les Draper for their help on the field along with the women behind the scenes Kerry Fernando and Kayla Draper. He also thanked sponsors Whitehaven Coal, Winanga-Li and Boggabri Coal.