Rirratjingu Football Program participant Lee Mununggurr shone in Darwin Buffaloes Premier League teams Round 1 victory over a stubborn Waratah Football Club in sweltering conditions at TIO Stadium in Darwin on Sunday. In a topsy turvy game, it was the double blues who snatched the ascendency and the four competition points in the 12.8 80 - 10.9 69 win to start the season in positive fashion. The Matt Campbell coached Buffaloes had more running in the final stretch and in all respects it was fitness rather than design that got the job done.
Mununggurr was effective as a small forward flank and late in the game provided an on ball role as Darwin looked to compensate from the early departure of Steven Anderson through injury. Mununggurr contributed with a goal and his tackle pressure was much improved on last season where he tasted League football three times as part of a development plan. Other Buffaloes to have quality hit outs included captain Jarrod Stokes and rising youngster Melly Rosas but it was defender Kelvin Williams who stood tall with a number of pressure acts ensuring a tough day at the office for the Waratah forward zone.
In Division 1 played at 4pm Saturday, participants Billy Wanambi and Yama Banu played in a tough loss against Southern Districts Football Club going down 8.4 52 - 11.14 80. The scoreline wasn't a fair reflection of the closeness of the game with Darwin probably rueing not have a key forward to control proceedings. It was an improved showing from last years Division 1 outfit and although a number of players played up in League due injuries to key players, there are positive signs going forward that the rebuild that Campbell and Division 1 coach Weety Hayes are conducting will bear fruit.
This coming week the Rirratjingu Football Program will look to introduce its identified junior participants where the Darwin Buffaloes will take on traditional rivals St Marys Football Club in games on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation are supporting the Football Program for the third NTFL Season again are a major sponsor of the Darwin Buffaloes. Rirratjingu Football Program Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was thrilled with the opening round when asked for his thoughts on the weekend. He said "Really successful Round 1 for the club as a whole. The Womens team and Youth Girls Under 18's were dominant on Saturday and Premier League got the job done against a really determined Tahs outfit. Matt Campbells communication with the program has been first class and experience tells us it takes a few game for our lads to hit their stride. If that is Lee's opening effort then I'm really excited to see how the next month unfolds".