Good Start For Mudchooks

Story: Stewart Wilson

The Bungendore Mudchooks rugby team got its season off to a strong start at Mick Sherd Oval last Saturday with a 43-14 win over the Crookwell Dogs.

The team has welcomed new coach Ray Caranese and a number of new players to its ranks for the 2024 campaign which has started well, this first victory in the regular competition following wins against Cootamundra and Goulburn in pre-season trial games.

As expected, the game with Crookwell was a tough and very physical one, the final scoreline particularly impressive for the Mudchooks when the fact that the Dogs had most of the possession is taken into account.

There were many positives for the Mudchooks, especially the scrum which was dominant and also the largely new look backline which always threatened when the ball was spread wide to them.

The first half illustrated this well. Crookwell had the lion’s share of possession in the first 40 minutes but it seemed that on each of the few occasions the Chooks’ backs got a chance to stretch their legs they either scored from a slick move or launched a threatening attack. Some of the moves were a joy to watch.

Five of the Mudchooks’ seven tries were scored by the backs, centre Maloni Tubekitu picking up a hat trick. This is not to forget the enormous effort put in by the forwards to contain the Dogs in defence, this extremely important in the context of the opposition’s possession advantage. It was very hard work but paid off, the Dogs not able to take advantage.

In fact the Mudchooks’ overall defensive effort was excellent with both forwards and backs thwarting attack after attack. 

The Chooks went into the half time break leading 26-7 and in control, Crookwell’s only try in the first 40 coming from an intercept.

The Mudchooks kept control of the game in the second half and increased their lead to 43-14 at the final whistle. It was a promising season opener for them but as always, there is still plenty of work to do and plenty of areas which need sorting. But the potential for a successful season is certainly there and importantly, team spirit is sky high.

The Mudchooks have two away games coming up, against Taralga on 27 April and Braidwood on 4 May. Bring it on!

As the new season gets underway the Mudchooks want to thank the sponsors who continue to support the team, especially the team’s major sponsor, the Royal Hotel. Without our sponsors there would be no team.

The player awards and their sponsors for the Crookwell match are:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Jo Nagauna
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Viliame Taleca
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Maloni Tibekitu
Chicks’ Pick: MV Panel and Paint – Maloni Tibekitu

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