2019 Round 1 Match Report

Growth shows promise for Gorillas
Following a successful 2018 season with the Gorillas taking home a Club Championship and Premierships in both 1 st and 2 nd Grade. An expanded Club in 2019, now including a Colts and Women’s sides, has seen a lot of promise in the re-additions.
2016 was the last year the Gorillas fielded both a Colts and Women’s side where after the Club took a step back in competitions following diminished playing numbers and success on the field. Now, following two successful re-building years for the Club there was a strong encouragement to reform the once lost sides. Fast forward, and the Gorillas Colts side kicked off the 2019 campaign travelling to Orange last Friday night to take on the Orange Emus as part of the Blowes Cup Colts Competition. Down on numbers only having 14 players to take the field, and giving away some years with a number of players still to turn 18 in an under 19’s competition the boys showed their class and talent racking up 40 points to 5. With numbers on their side the Emu’s rotated in their bench to keep the pressure on the Gorillas but some massive defensive efforts on
their line saw the Gorillas hold out a number of point scoring opportunities. Couple that with six tries at the other end and 5 from 6 conversion attempts for Alex Heap and the group should be extremely pleased with themselves!
Roll over to Saturday and we see the other new team to the Club in the Women kicking off the Gorillas first home game day taking on the Mudgee Wombats in the Westfund Ferguson Cup. With a healthy Narromine crowd, and the Mercury exceeding 30 degrees the ladies were up against a sizeable Mudgee outfit and right from the start the exchanges in play were entertainingly physical. Alice Theberge was devastating every time she ran the ball making plenty of meters up the middle and paved the way for the likes of Shianne Klante to burn plenty of meters out wider in some space. However, despite this and a
massive defensive effort lead by Captain and players-player Jess Brown the Gorillas were unable to hold out the Mudgee pack going down in the end 33 points to 12. All on the sideline could see a lot of potential in the group and we look forward to seeing them improve over the season. Remaining in the New Holland Agriculture Cup this year our two senior sides were looking
to kick-off the year well with two titles to defend. After their impressive win on Friday night a number of Colts were keen to get involved and helped bolster numbers for the 2 nd Grade side. With most of the points coming in the first half for the Gorillas we saw impressive attacking formations finding space around the ruck for the likes of Bill Rybak and Jack Madgwick to cross over for 5 pointers. Mudgee weren’t looking to go away and pressed the Gorillas defence on a number of occasions but were continuously denied by some great scrambling defence, none more impressive than Colts player Euan Truscotts try saving tackle late in the 2 nd half. Full back Strath Munro had his kicking shoes on landing 4 from 4 to help the side to a 28-0 final scoreline.
Looking to continue an enviable winning streak you may be forgiven for thinking the scoreline suggested our 1st grade did it comfortably in a 55-0 win. Pressed hard from the start by Mudgee’s pack the boys from both sides did it tough in the heat, the flow of the game seemingly going the Gorillas way however. Some great defence in the middle allowed the backs to spread the ball on a number of occasions finding easy meters out wide with plenty of tries following. Soccer convert, Gorillas debutante, and 1 st Grades players-player Jake Brennan impressed everyone finishing off some back-line ball movements in fantastic fashion to bag himself a double, missing out on a miraculous kick-chase play for his third that would of sent the crowd into a frenzy.Superstar George Hancock left the field early after not quite hitting the sweat spot in defensive effort against a hard running Mudgee centre, however, stalwart Jonathon Sharkey seamlessly shifted out to fly half and the Gorillas continued their tirade on the Mudgee line.
There was lots of work being done up front with Luke ‘Brick Wall’ Brown showing off his usual brutal defence we’ve all come to love, and Gorillas second debutante John Ellis proving he can live up to the hype putting in a massive effort across the paddock and helping to hold up the scrums in the taxing conditions. Further back Craig Campbell and Sam McLeod were finding plenty of running room with Sam giving Mudgee no option but to let him score utilising his beastly strength in a drive at the line deep in the 2 nd half. Interchanges from the bench gave some hard-working forwards some relief and renewed the Gorillas attack with Bill Rybak and Carlos Nykylon bagging tries toward the end of the game ensuring Mudgee were never given a chance. Reserve Jack Neill continued his uplifting performance from 2 nd grade coming on and running so hard into a gap even he was surprised how well it opened up for him, shortly after falling under his own steam due to the lack of resistance from any would-be defenders…
Doug Potter was sighted in kicking 6 from 8 conversions, also landing 2 penalty goals to help illustrate the Gorillas intentions for 2019.
Thank-you to all our supporters who turned out in the heat! Next week we’re on the road to Parkes for a rematch of last year’s Grand Final which is sure to be a screamer! The Ladies are also in Parkes taking on Temora, and the Colts have a bye.

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