Mudchooks Fall Short On Sponsors Day

Story by Stewart Wilson

It is the nature of sport that a team or individual can have a very
good day one week and a disappointing one the next. So it has been for
the Mudchooks rugby team, following  their big win over Crookwell last
week with a 24-12 loss to the Braidwood Redbacks on Saturday.

The game was held at home at the Mick Sherd Oval on one of the
club’s big annual events, Sponsors Day. This year the club is
supporting the Bungendore Hooters for breast cancer research and
following our Charity Day a few weeks ago, Sponsors Day saw jerseys
being auctioned with some vigorous bidding taking a place. A very
worthy cause!

On the field, the Mudchooks couldn’t celebrate fullback Jack
Worman’s milestone 100th game for the club with a victory in what
was a largely scrappy game. Although the Chooks had their chances,
they couldn’t quite capitalise on them. A positive was the scrum,
which was once again dominant as it has been all season.

The Redbacks opened the scoring with a converted try, quickly followed
by a great individual effort by Mudchooks centre Maloni Tubekitu. Tom
Worman’s conversion made it 7-all but Braidwood later crossed again
and converted to make it 14-7 at half time.

That remained the score until well into the second half with neither
team making any great headway until Braidwood scored another converted
try and then a penalty goal to make it 24-7.

Maloni Tubekitu scored another for the Mudchooks shortly before full
time and that’s how it ended – 24-12 in favour of the Redbacks.
The Mudchooks remain in a semi-finals position but are under pressure
with the pointscore very tight around them.

The Mudchooks next play ADFA away on 20 July and then have a bye
before taking on Cooma (away) and Taralga (at home) in the last two
rounds of the regular competition.

Player awards and their sponsors were:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Tom Worman (3 points)
Luke Gorman (2 points)
Alex Ganchov (1 point).
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Jack
Worman.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Joe Nagauna.
Chicks’ Pick: NV Panel and Paint – Jack Worman.

Mudchooks Fight Back

Story by Stewart Wilson

It was a very good day for the club last Saturday with both the
Mudchooks and Chicks notching big wins, the Chooks fighting back after
a couple of losses to defeat the Crookwell Dogs 47-25 at Crookwell
after leading 21-20 at half time.

The team scored seven tries, three in the first half to centres Jone
Waqa and Maloni Tubekitu and winger Uraia Rabici. Halfback and captain
Tom Worman converted all three and he had his kicking radar working
well, slotting six out of seven during the game.

After a tight first half the Mudchooks dominated the second 40 adding
four tries and three conversions to Crookwell’s single try to end up
winning comfortably. Try scorers in the second half were prop Alex
Ganchov, flyhalf Kyle Shand (after a brilliant tactical kick and
chase) and second rower Jacob Cullen who notched a double.

It was a much better performance by the Mudchooks with some slick
backline moves and the forwards doing the hard work in the ‘engine
room’. It wasn’t perfect (what team is over 80 minutes?) but
showed that when the boys get themselves properly organised, hold
their shape and don’t push unnecessary passes, they are capable of
beating anyone.

A good result, but the downside was that only 16 players turned up to
play – including welcoming back club legend James ‘Butters’
Pryde – which meant that only one substitute was available on the
bench. Something that needs to be dealt with as we move into the
business end of the season.

This weekend the Mudchooks play the Redbacks at home in what is one of
the club’s big days – our annual Sponsors’ Day. Don’t miss it
with both the Chooks and Chicks playing!

Player awards and their sponsors for the Crookwell match were:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Kalib Maksimovic (3 points),
Kyle Shand (2 points),
Jacob Cullen and Alex Ganchov (1 point each).
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Kyle Shand.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Joe Nagauna.
Chicks’ Pick: NV Panel and Paint – Jacob Cullen.

Tough Day at the Office For Mudchooks

Story by Stewart Wilson

It was always going to be a tough one for the Mudchooks against the
Jindabyne Bushpigs at Mick Sherd Oval on Saturday, the undefeated
competition leaders well clear on the table. They have racked up 70 or
80 points in several games so far.

And so it proved to be, the Bushpigs defeating the Chooks 24-0 after
leading 12-0 at half time. The Mudchooks’ cause wasn’t helped by
game-ending injuries suffered by two key players, but at the end of
the day the slick and well organised Bushpigs were just too good.

They are a very good team for which the odds are shortening for them
to claim their third successive premiership in 2024.

But let us never forget that any team is beatable so it’s not over
yet!

The result is no disgrace for the Mudchooks who never gave up with
every player giving his all until the final whistle. The fact that
Jindabyne’s score was restricted to a – for them – modest one
speaks for itself and the commitment of our boys against a formidable
opposition is praiseworthy.

The Mudchooks are now fifth on table and still on target for the semis
but there’s a handful of teams within a few points of each other
with six rounds of the regular season to go. The Chooks’ next game
is away against the Crookwell Dogs next Saturday, 6 July, and they are
just one point behind us on the table.

We beat Crookwell 43-14 at home in the opening round, so a repeat
performance would be a great result. Go boys!

Player awards and their sponsors for the Jindabyne match were:
Best and Fairest:
Royal Hotel – Joe Nagauna (3 points),
Alex Ganchov (2 points),
Jack Worman (1 point).
Players’ Player:
Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Alex Ganchov.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Gerhardus Pretorius.
Chicks’ Pick: NV Panel and Paint – Connor Costello.

Mudchooks Come Close

Story by: Stewart Wilson

To perhaps overuse the contents of the cliché box It was ‘a game of two halves’ and ‘one that got away’ for the Mudchooks against the Yass Rams at Mick Sherd Oval last Saturday, losing 32-29 after holding a decent lead at the break on one of the club’s biggest days of the year – the Ladies’ Day fundraiser.

Following the Mudchicks’ big win earlier in the day, the Chooks were looking to follow that and for the first half of the game things were looking good for a happy result. Even though the Rams scored first, the Bungendore boys quickly got themselves organised and played well with tries to Will Smith, Kyle Shand, Cameron Faddy and Tom Worman in the first 40 minutes.

Tom Worman also kicked three conversions and despite Yass scoring an unconverted try late in the half, the Chooks led a comfortable 26-10 at the break. The only real concern so far was a fairly leavy penalty count against the Mudchooks.

The second half was a different story. The Yass Rams came out of the shed fired up and clearly determined to fight on. And they did, scoring four tries in the last 40 minutes, their efforts helped considerably by a barrage of penalties against the Chooks as the half wore on. Interestingly, the same thing happened in the Chooks’ game against Braidwood earlier in the season with the same referee.

The last ten minutes were tense, the Rams taking over the lead but the Chooks reclaiming it by two points just four minutes from full time through a Tom Worman penalty goal. A somewhat ironic cheer went up from the home crowd when the Mudchooks were actually awarded a penalty!

These were the Mudchooks’ only points of the half and a couple more decisions against the team in the final moments resulted in the Rams gaining field position and scoring again in the last action of the game to make it 32-29.

Despite the narrow loss the Mudchooks remain third on the table and their first half display in this game indicates a team which is coming together well. Next up is an away game against the Hall Bushrangers at Hall Sportsground next Saturday 22 June, starting at 2.30pm.

Player awards and their sponsors for the Yass match were:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Kyle Shand (3 points), Tom Worman (2 points), Will Smith (1 point).
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Tom Worman.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Joe Nagauna.
Chicks’ Pick: MV Panel and Paint – Cameron Faddy.

Mudchooks Win Again!

The Mudchooks scored a good victory at Mick Sherd Oval last Saturday, defeating the Hall Bushrangers 22-19 in what – in the second half at least – was probably their best performance so far this year.

The game started an hour later than usual due to sharing the day with the Tigers rugby league team and the oval’s floodlights were turned at the start as it was known the game would finish in encroaching darkness. In what was a good day for Bungendore’s rugby teams –  the Mudchicks also won their away game. Two in a row for both our teams!

The Mudchooks continued to suffer from ongoing injuries which limited options and only two substitute players were available on the bench. The return to the team after a year off by flyhalf, director of traffic and goal kicker Tom Worman was a big plus.

With the Mudchooks playing into a strong wind in the first half the team did well to keep the score at 5-all until the last minute of the first half through an early try to Hall, matched later by one to the Chooks’ Jone Waqa.

Unfortunately the Bushrangers scored a converted try right on half time to make it 12-5 to them at the break, not too bad considering the wind, but it’s fair to say the Mudchooks had wasted some opportunities.

Coach Ray Caranese’s talk at half time had the desired effect, the team no longer needlessly kicking away possession or pushing passes which caused promising moves to break down.

The Chooks responded strongly, converted tries to prop Alex Ganchov and centre Maloni Tubekitu plus a penalty goal by Tom Worman took the team into the lead 22-12 as the second half wore on. Another converted try by the Bushrangers made it 22-19 in the game’s tense final minutes but the Mudchooks hung on to win.

Player awards and points for the game were:

Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Tom Worman (3 points),
Maloni Tubekitu (2 points),
Alex Ganchov and Kalib Maksimovic (1 point each).

Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Tom Worman.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Tom Worman.
Chicks’ Pick: MV Panel and Paint – Tom Worman.

A Good Day at the Park

Story by Stewart Wilson

It was a very good day for our club on Saturday with the Mudchooks and
Mudchicks taking on ADFA teams and emerging victorious in both cases
at a wet and soggy Mick Sherd Oval.

The Chooks’ win turned out to be emphatic in the end, 29-7 and
scoring five tries to one courtesy five-pointers to Kalib Maksimovic,
Joe Nagauna, Jone Waqa, Uraia Rabici and Finlay Rowston.

The game started in what seems to be standard procedure for the
Mudchooks this year – the opposition dominating possession and
launching attack after attack from close range in the early stages and
the defence holding firm.

After surviving that initial onslaught the tide began to turn in
favour of the Mudchooks, helped considerably by the dominance of their
scrum which repeatedly and strongly pushed the ADFA pack into reverse.
A couple of scrums went against the ADFA feed as a result, something
that always makes the forwards (and coach) very happy indeed!

The backs also did their jobs when called upon and a couple of their
moves which resulted in tries were good to watch.

The team still has several key players out through injury with the
result that some experimentation with playing positions continues, but
these generally worked pretty well against ADFA. For example, Harry
Baker did a great job playing halfback for the first time, his efforts
reflected in the match awards noted below.

A good result for the Chooks!

The team’s next game is against the Hall Bushrangers at the Mick
Sherd Oval next Saturday but note the starting time is 3.30pm, an hour
later than usual due to sharing the day with the Tigers.

The player awards and their sponsors for the ADFA match were:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Harry Baker (3 points), Jye Russell
(2 points), Joe Nagauna (1 point).
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Harry
Baker.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Harry Baker.
Chicks’ Pick: MV Panel and Paint – Maloni Tubekitu.

Mudchooks: Peaks and Valleys

Story: Stewart Wilson

“Rugby can be a cruel game,” I remember my coach at school saying more than five decades ago. “One minute you’re at the top of the mountain, the next you’re in the valley.” A wise man, he added: “But don’t worry, this can apply to any sport, and the top of the mountain will come again.”

This pretty sums up the Bungendore Mudchooks’ 2024 season so far  – two wins in trial matches, a win in the first round of the regular competition and then two defeats. But the mountain beckons and the top remains well within sight.

The Taralga Tigers defeated the Chooks 12-8 at Taralga on 27 May in a brutal game which was called off ten minutes early due to a serious injury. The result was far from settled when time was called, the Chooks well and truly in it, but denied the chance to bridge the small gap.

Another away game a week later, this time against the Braidwood Redbacks. The Mudchooks had several key players out due to injury or unavailability on the day. As a result, some were forced to play out of their regular positions and the substitutes’ bench was only half full.

The Mudchooks pretty much held their own in the first half and scored first with a penalty goal by Maloni Tubekitu, followed by an almost length of field try by winger Connor Costello. Not far out from his own line, he spotted a gap and went for it. Eighty metres later he still had work to do, stepping around two defenders to score.

After that the Redbacks started to take control, scoring two tries and leading 12-8 at half time. Using their full substitutes bench regularly, they were able to add 21 points in the second half to win 33-15 at the final whistle.

The Mudchooks’ seven second half points came from a converted try by flanker Jye Russell. Plenty of work to do for the Mudchooks, but the team is a solid one. Their cause is not helped at the moment by the growing injury list.

The team’s next two games are at home against ADFA on 11 May and the Hall Bushrangers the following Saturday, starting at 2.30pm. So get yourself down to the Mick Sherd Oval and show your support!

The player awards and their sponsors for the Taralga match were:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Kyle Shand (3 points), Jacob Cullen (2 points), Jye Russell (1 point)
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Kalib Maksimovic and Kyle Shand.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Maloni Tubekitu.
Chicks’ Pick: MV Panel and Paint – Kyle Shand.

And for Braidwood:
Best and Fairest: Royal Hotel – Connor Costello (3 points), Kalib Maksimovic (2 points), Kyle Shand (1 point).
Players’ Player: Mint Air Conditioning and Refrigeration – Will Smith.
Coach’s Player: Bungendore Community Bank – Connor Costello.
Chicks’ Pick: MV Panel and Paint – Connor Costello.

2024 Season kicks off today!

It’s Rugby Season again and round one kicks off today for our Mudchooks in the 2nd Division South Coast Monaro Comp and our Mudchicks in the Women’s 10s ACT Rugby comp.

Mudchooks vs Crookwell Dogs kicks off at 1.30pm at out home grounds – Mick Sherd Oval in Bungendore.

Mudchicks vs Goulburn Dirty Reds kicks off at 12.30pm at Simon Poiveden Oval in Goulburn

Watch this space for the game reports next week!