Gundagai ready to rip through Temora

Luke Berkrey believes the Gundagai Tigers, led by the likes of Afa Collins (pictured), will be ready and raring for a big effort when they host the visiting Temora Dragons at Anzac Park on Sunday.

The Gundagai Tigers will make their long-awaited return to Anzac Park when hosting the Temora Dragons in round nine of the Group 9 competition on Sunday. 

The unbeaten Tigers, who themselves are fresh off a 26-all draw with the Albury Thunder in round eight of the competition, will want to bounce back against a Dragons side that currently sits in third place and only one competition point behind the top of the table Gundagai outfit. 

“It’s an important game but we are not going into the game thinking about what will happen down the track,” said Tigers captain/coach Luke Berkrey. 

“We are just focusing on this game, and we will go from there.”

Berkrey believes his Tigers will be up for their match against the in-form Dragons, with the Black and Gold able to get some regular rugby league under their belt in recent weeks.

“It’s good because we are playing our third game in four weeks and we are starting to get some run in our legs and I think we are in for a good performance,” Berkrey said.  

Temora have lost just the one game this season, which was a 36-6 defeat to the Young Cherrypickers in round seven, but despite their good record, Berkrey believes Gundagai will have the edge over their rivals where it matters most. 

“They have a bit of a smaller pack compared to the other top sides in the competition, and it is no secret that we will be trying to go straight through them,” Berkrey said. 

“They have a bit of a smaller pack compared to the other top sides in the competition, and it is no secret that we will be trying to go straight through them,” Berkrey said. 

“Still, they might not be a big side, but they are a fit side, and they always show up and we know we will be in for a big game.”

The Tigers will definitely enter the match without Nathan Rose (bicep), James Luff (concussion) and Joel Field (bicep).

In positive news, Latrell Siegwalt’s (ankle) prognosis is not as bad as first thought, and he is a chance of playing, while big man Vinnie Brown could be back on the paddock.

“Latrell’s ankle doesn’t look to be too bad, and he is a chance, and we will give it until the final hour,” Berkrey said. 

“Vinnie could be back, and we are hoping he will be fine, and we have named him.

“We are looking forward to getting him on the park and getting some games into him in the back half of the season.”

For the moment, it will again be a matter of the next man standing up, and Berkrey praised a young group of locals who have answered the call and taken on bigger roles in the Tigers first grade team in the early stages of 2022. 

“All the young boys are going really well,” Berkrey said. 

“They have handled it with ease and just come in and done a job.

“I’m really happy with those young guys, and this tough little period will hold the club in good stead in the future.” 

With players either returning or close to returning, Gundagai will kick off an exciting back half of the season against Temora, with the Tigers now set to host five of their final six games at home.

Berkrey said local fans would finally get a chance to cheer on their Tigers on a regular basis at Gundagai’s home of country rugby league. 

“We only had four home games last year and we missed out on three because of the Covid-interrupted season and we have only had the one home game this year,” Berkrey said. 

“We have the next five of six at home, and we get a chance to make a stamp at home and we know we are a tough team to beat at home.”

Gundagai’s home game against Temora will add to what is already an interesting round of Group 9 action, which has the Tumut Blues hosting the Wagga Kangaroos at Twickenham on Saturday, while on Sunday, Wagga Brothers host the Albury Thunder at McDonalds Park.

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