The Goulburn Bulldogs were disappointed to be on the receiving end of a drubbing from the Yass Magpies, however the result couldn’t dampen a day full of milestones for their players.
Three players made their first grade debuts for the Bulldogs on Saturday: Cooper O’Connor, Mitchell Atkinson and Angus Marshall.
While Goulburn coach Adam Kyle was not happy with the outcome of the game, he said the newcomers were “really impressive”.
“Coops [O’Connor], who was our fullback, played 80 minutes today, which was probably his first 80-minute game,” Kyle said.
“And we had a front rower and a hooker too. They all performed really well, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how they go over the next couple of weeks.”
On the other side of the spectrum, the reserve grade game earlier in the afternoon also marked the 150th time that Tim Costello has taken the field for the Bulldogs.
Of the veteran, Kyle said that the young members of the team could learn from his poise and professionalism.
“[It’s a] massive achievement for the club, to play 150,” Kyle said.
“He’s someone that we’ve talked about a little bit, someone the boys can replicate. If they want to have a long career in the club, that’s someone that they want to try and follow.”
Despite the milestones throughout the team, it was a largely unsuccessful day for the Bulldogs.
The first grade match began poorly, with a fumble from the kickoff.
Before long, the Magpies lead 34-0 at half time, and it looked very possible that the Bulldogs would be on the receiving end of a drubbing.
However, a rocket from Kyle during the break spurred the boys into action, and they piled on 18 points in the second half, thanks to fewer errors and higher intensity.
The match finished at 50-24, and although they won the second half, Kyle said it was not enough to be finding their form halfway through matches.
“We won the second half, but I suppose you can’t really start games dropping the kickoff,” he said.
“Just too many errors, too many individual errors, too many individual missed tackles, which has been a bit of a theme for our season, giving teams a good head start, then a half time spray and we decide we want to come out and play.”
The loss brings Goulburn’s losing streak to six matches in a row. Next Saturday, they will take on the Belconnen United Sharks at the Workers Arena from 3:00pm.