Local footy is back
Finally local footy is back, Manilla travelled to Barraba on Saturday to renew old rivalries.
As usual the Bulldogs are fiercely competitive on the field but are outstanding hosts once the match is over.
The Tag League commenced proceedings, Manilla received an early scare when Barraba appeared to score in the corner, but the “scorer” was penalised for pivoting away from the defender, a no no in this sport as it prevents the defender from removing the tag.
Shavanah Boota commenced the game at full back and made several try saving tags, good runs from Sheleaka O’Leary Cloake, Gemma Stackman and Jessica Beale put Barraba on the back foot. Sharika Bundock then received a knee injury which stopped the match for a few moments and Manilla lost momentum resulting in Barraba scoring a try but failing to convert.
Manilla then had to defend for a good period, Laurie Roberts and Shavanah standing out in this area, unfortunately for Manilla Barraba was able to score again, near the posts, the conversion saw the halftime score 10/0 to Barraba.
Despite the scoreless half the Manilla side gained a lot of confidence as they had defended well for long periods of the half and prevented several forays from Barraba through a straight line in defence.
Kim Flett caused a big scare to the Bulldog defence with a kick and chase which almost came off, then Joan O’Leary followed with a good dummy and run, Kim took advantage of this run with a good run down the side line, Kim then put is a short kick which managed to stay in the field of play, despite pressure from the Bulldog defence Kim managed a couple of short kicks and kept the ball under control to score in the corner, the try was not converted, Barraba leading 10/4.
Jacinta Jones then showed a clean pair of heels, running down the sideline, the defence was closing fast but Jacinta found an extra burst of speed to score wide out, the conversion was unsuccessful, 10/8 to Barraba.
Barraba responded with a try of their own to widen the margin to 14/8, then another quickly followed, the score now 18/8, Manilla then received a penalty, our kicker being knocked down after the kick, the penalty kick did not go out on the fullbut Barraba were unable to reach the ball before it bounced out, Shavanah then scored, again wide out, no consideration for the kicker, 18/12 to Barraba.
Kim Flett then produced another good run putting the Bulldogs on the back foot, a penalty to Manilla then gave good field position which was taken advantage of by Jessica Beale who scored near the post (finally) giving Kim Flett and easy conversion 18/18 all.
An excellent start by the Tag League team, good defence, good talking on the field, good speed, players player was Shavanah Boota, Refs points went to Joan O’Leary.
The Reserve Grade side saw the unusual situation of two defending premiership sides playing each other.
Barraba going through the 2018 season undefeated to claim the crown but having to drop out and could not defend the title, Manilla then won in 2019, so there was a lot on the line, the “Colonel Handsaker” Shield, bragging rights and of course the two points.
Our two props Ben Taber and Rodney Rolls showed the Bulldogs they were here to play with solid runs up the centre, bending the line and causing the Dogs to give an early penalty for holding down. Barraba then received a penalty and despite good tackling from Anthony Wicks and Isaac Devine Barraba managed to score in the corner.
Manilla then scored through Shannon O’Leary, to strong, to evasive, this was converted by Mitch Doring giving Manilla the lead 6/4.
Adam Ruttley then dropped an easy kick in the worse position, no not field position, but in front of a large group of family and friends who then proceeded to give Adam heaps, not a lot of sympathy felt, Adam did recover quickly intercepting a Bulldog pass shortly after. Isaac Devine then added to the Tigers score line, scoring near the posts presenting Mitch with an easy conversion 12/4 to Manilla.
The next few minutes became an arm wrestle, Barraba received penalty (offside), the ensuing play saw the defence from the Tigers take their eyes off the dummy half who took full advantage by scoring untouched, Half time score 12/8.
Jesse Glass then made a good run, short melee ensued, the Tigers getting the penalty but despite good periods of offence the Tigers just couldn’t crack the defence, a forward pass after a good run and then a dropped ball over the line hurt. Mitch then put up an average kick which was just watched by the defence, Isaac Devine took full advantage of this lapse from Barraba to score his second try, Manilla leading 18/8.
The Tigers were caught in goal from the kick off, Barraba then put in a good kick to the corner which resulted in a try, 18/12 to Barraba, conversion missed.
The Tigers then defended well forcing the Bulldogs back, a penalty to Manilla, then good runs from Daniel Earl forcing the Bulldogs to defend stoutly. Manilla then gave away a penalty, holding down, then overread the attack, the inside defenders rushing up to quickly allowing the Bulldogs to a score a converted try, 18 all.
Then the rain came with about seven minutes to go, both teams tried to break the dead lock, Barraba missing with filed goal attempt, very difficult in the conditions and the match then finished the same score line as the previous match 18/18.An excellent match and a good start for both teams.
Refs players were Zac Malise (3) Beau Harry (2) Joe Latham (1).