Bluedogs bow out gracefully

The 2013 rugby league season came to an end on Saturday for the Pambula/Merimbula/ Bombala Bluedogs first grade team.  

The Bluedogs travelled to Tathra to take on the Sea Eagles in a game that had no consequence on the semi finals.

Daniel Cronk opened the scoring for the Bluedogs with a try in the eighth minute. 

Tathra hit back with a converted try to Fraser.

Young Bluedog, James McMillan started the game on the wing and scored the next try from a solid run.  

Later, he moved into the hooker position to display his versatility and his toughness -tackling some opposition players twice his weight.

Tries flowed for both teams in the first half. 

Joshua Shepherdson bagged a double for the Eagles and Brady Cochrane scored his first of two.  

Robbie Townsend capped a fine game with a try three minutes before the half-time break.  

At the break Tathra led the Bluedogs 22-16.

The second half was a much tougher affair, with the defence from both sides stiffening up.  

Bluedogs co-coach, Josh Clift had a terrific game, constantly splitting the defence and was unlucky on several occasions to be pulled down short of the try line.  

He did score the first try of the second half, narrowing the gap to just 2 points.

Tathra scored two more tries, the next to Cochrane for his second.

And one try went to Rhys Cunningham.  

This took the Sea Eagles out to a 12-point lead.  

The Bluedogs hadn’t given in and when Clift scored his second try of the day, they had a sniff of victory.  

Time eventually ran out for the Bluedogs and Tathra reined supreme, winning 32 to 24.

This drew the season to a close for the Bluedogs first grade team, a season that held plenty of “what ifs” for the team.  

Injuries throughout the year dashed their chances.  

Despite this they managed to trouble most of the other teams this year.  

All players can be proud of their efforts through the season.

Local supporters can be pleased that many local juniors have come through the ranks, into the top grade.  

Corey Schafer, Nathan Lygon, Robbie Townsend and Mitch James all progressed from last years’ under 18s team.

Add to these, Jim Mikula, Matt Clift and Mavin Maher-Smith from the 2011 under 18s premiership side.

And Daniel Cronk and Blake Doyle have become seasoned first graders.

The Hotdoggies finished their season with a strong performance against Eden the previous week.  

Jessie Morgan scored the first try for the Hotdoggies on the day.

Kayla Jamieson, Megan Quarmby and Kelly Badewitz were very strong in defence.

Sam Ingram capped her best game of the year with a try.

And inspirational captain, Nikki Perry, was awarded three points in the player awards after her best game.  

Kayla Jamieson received two points and Peta Elton received one point.

Another great year was had by the Hotdoggies - not so much on the field, but certainly off the field.  

They play the game in the right spirit and bond very well afterwards.

The Bluedogs under 18s team is still in the premiership race after finishing second on the ladder. 

The team will be out to defend its title when they take on first-placed Cooma at Moruya on August 2.

The winner will progress straight to the grand final.

The young Bluedogs have plenty of talent in their ranks, but will need to combine perfectly to overcome the undefeated Cooma side.

A whole new competition begins now for the young ‘Dogs and previous results count for nothing.

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