The Narooma Devils Rugby League Club’s second Indigenous Round was a great celebration of how a football club can create one happy community of people, though unfortunately the actual footy results on the day against Merimbula-Pambula were a little disappointing.
The ceremony was held before the First Grade game and began with a wonderful Welcome to Country from Maz Campbell, who also is one of the stars of our league tag team even though there are rumours that she may even be over 30!
The Gadu Dancers followed with some traditional dances which were warmly appreciated by the crowd.
After that Rob Skeen, CEO from the Katungul Aboriginal Corporation and Medical Centre, was presented with one of the Indigenous themed jerseys, designed by first grade player Yuin Campbell, which Rob's corporation sponsored this year.
Some highlights for Narooma Indigenous players this year have been the selection of Janaija Parsons and Jaydean Lonsdale-Patten in the Group 16 Ladies Tag team, Marcus Lonsdale from the Under 16s and 18s who was selected in the NSW Indigenous Under 16 team and Matt Parsons who recently toured New Zealand with the NSW Country Rugby League Under 18 team.
Indigenous players are the heart of the Devils and the football club is extremely proud to honour them each year.
The Devils First Grade team needed to win well against Merimbula-Pambula to have a chance to reach the semis but once again too many missed chances and errors meant that they narrowly missed out.
The Bulldogs won with a penalty goal in the 77th minute, taking the game 26-24 after the Devils had fought hard to even up the match at 24-all with five to go.
They scored five tries to four, the scorers being Jermaine Ballingarry, Ninnum Parsons, Rhys Pearcey, Koorin Campbell and Tim Crome, but the conversions were not that easy.
Youngsters Jordan Martin, Gus Wilton, Jackson Kelly and Matt Parsons showed that they have a big future in first grade.
Best for the Devils were Todd Ayers, Rhys Pearcey and Ninnum Parsons while Tim Crome won the Coaches Award and Ninnum Parsons the Player’s Player.
Despite putting in everything they had, the Girls League Tag team came up against a very sharp and quick Merimbula Hot-Doggies team going down 48-0.
They tried hard all day and once again showed improvement in the second half. Coach Damian Rotumah was proud of the way the girls stuck to the task and never gave up. Best were Janaija Parsons, Jaydean Lonsdale and Laura Spicer with Jade Hansen winning the Coaches award and Janiaja the Player’s Player.
The Under 18s once again were force to play with only eleven players due to the non-appearance of several players. This team put it right to the undefeated Bulldogs despite finally going down 38-14 and had they put a full team on the paddock a close contest was very possible.
Gus Wilton, Will Middlemiss and Matt Parsons were the try-scorers with Gus also adding a goal. Coaches Mark and Kerry really need to have all players on deck in two weeks when the semis come up. Best for the Young Devils were Gus Wilton, Jordan Martin and Nick Hoskins, while Liam Sweeney and Jackson Kelly were also very involved.
Next week the First Grade and League Tag Devils face their last round up in the cold country of Bombala while the Under 18s have a bye.