The youngest member of the Rirratjingu Football Program, BJ Mununggurr, made an impressive debut for Darwin Buffaloes Under 14 Light Blue in fine conditions at TIO Stadium on Saturday. Excitement got the better of Mununggurr in the first two quarters where the ruckman chased the game to a certain extent but he settled nicely when moved to Centre-Half Forward for the remainder of the match.
Mununggurr was excellent with his disposal and three times in the third quarter he hit the full forward on the chest. His athleticism allowed him to work himself out of contested situations and he took his chances in front of the sticks with 3 deserved goals. Geelong Cats staff member Nelson Browne remarked on his progress. He said " You can tell he has been training with the senior group, his vision is really good at this stage". Rirratjingu Football Program Head Coach Hayden Rickard added "I'm really pleased for BJ. To be fair the opposition were a bit underdone, but I just like the way he settled into his work. He really brought players around him into the game and some of his delivery into the forward line was just really classy for a 13 year old.
In a nice touch, the team had Mununggurr in the centre of the victorious team song.
The Darwin Buffaloes Under 14 Light Blue defeated Southern Districts 20.10.130 - 0.3.3.
The senior teams from Darwin Buffaloes continue to struggle with losses further compounding the difficult start to the Centenary Season. With games played at Freds Pass, players had a tough day at the office in sweltering build up conditions and no respite with little overhead cloud cover.
In Division 1 Justin Burarrwanga and Tyrone Dhagapan had an busy days with both allocated time on the ball throughout. Dhagapan had his best outing in a double blue guernsey and wouldn't look out of place in Premier League. He was active at the fall of the ball and really attacked the pack and came through the other side with possession a number of times. Burarrwanga chased hard all day and effected a turnover tackle through good closing speed in front of the grandstand.
Darwin Buffaloes 2.4.16 lost to Southern Districts 24.9.153
The Darwin Buffaloes chased a clinical Southern Districts for the majority of the day in Premier League. With ex-Brisbane Lion and Gold Coast Suns Player Jarred Brennan causing mayhem at the ruck for Southern Districts, the Buffaloes toiled away and eventually found parity when the ruckman found body on body contact through the second half to stem the tide.
Brendan Marika debuted for Darwin Buffaloes and the Elcho Island resident has relocated to Yirrkala to develop his game and remain in contention for travel. Rickard signalled some hard work ahead for Marika "Brendan got through his first Premier League and he should be satisfied with how he went. We have some work on bringing his hand skills up to scratch but every one of our program players that has debuted in Premier League has been shocked at the pace. We know from experience it takes three to four Rounds of hard slog to get the guys up to pace. He added "We will work on his game sense, explore some of the rationale behind some of his options. I believe we have enough talent there to squeeze out the makings of a very handy player".
Cameron Stokes was massive for the Buffaloes and his spells in the ruck dried up the ease with which the Crocs had on winning the centre. He was involved in some heavy collisions throughout and you can never question his work ethic or commitment to put his body on the line time and again.
Darwin Buffaloes 14.7.91 lost to Southern Districts 19.10.124
It won't get any easier next week with in-form Nightcliff Tigers awaiting in Premier League. Division 1 have a winnable contest with University and Under 14 will play Palmerston.
The Rirratjingu Football Program falls within the Social Programs arm of Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation.