You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Temora's bright future was on show in Round One of the 2023 Group 9 competition as the Dragons ran away with a convincing 38-10 win over the Junee Diesels at Nixon Park.

Club juniors and local teenagers Jared McKinnon and David White made their first-grade debuts in the squad.

McKinnon, who is only 17, played in the Weissel Cup fixture earlier in the day, but he saved his best for first grade, starring with a three-try performance.

"He played all but 10 minutes of 18s, and that's a pretty big effort by him," said Temora Dragons captain-coach Josh McCrone.

"Jared only turns 18 at the end of the year, and this is the last year he can play 18s, and I was pretty keen for him to spend his last year with his mates. We're just lucky he is fit enough to play both games."

White, at just 19, is the youngest bull in a talented Dragons front-row rotation, which includes Zach Starr, Kris Rands, and the returning Luke Skidmore. 

"He's another genuine front rower, which we needed," McCrone said.

"He's not playing flashy footy, and he's more about getting in and getting dirty. You're guaranteed that he will have a go and have the dirtiest jumper after the game."

Regarding their win over Junee - returning to the top-level for the first time since 2020 - the Dragons had to work for the result after trailing 10-6 at halftime.

"I'm happier with the result and how we stuck in when we weren't getting the possession in the first half," McCrone said.

"They dominated possession and we made too many unforced errors and gave away too many penalties."

It was a different story in the second half, with Junee under the pump after Matt Carvosso got sent to the sin-bin, while Temora took full advantage of some critical errors, scoring six unanswered tries.

"In the first set after halftime, they knocked it on, and we scored twice after that, and they never got the momentum back," McCrone said.

Temora finished third in 2022, and after injuries to key players late in the season, they were sent packing in straight sets following Semi-final losses to the Young Cherrypickers and Tumut Blues.

This year the Dragons call on a very similar side, but with McKinnon, White, Skidmore, and Jaiden Burke on deck, McCrone does not believe depth will be an issue as they charge towards a drought-breaking Group 9 title.

"We had 21 blokes to play reserve grade last week, and we will have 21 again when we go to Tumut this weekend. I can't remember us ever having numbers like that," McCrone said.

Temora will trek to Tumut and take on the Blues at Twickenham on Saturday, and despite leaving Tumut as 8-4 winners in Round 15 last season, McCrone is not expecting a walk in the park.

"She is never a happy hunting ground in Tumut, and it is our longest road trip this year," McCrone said.

"Tumut is a very handy team, and I've said it before, the longer you can keep your core group together, the better you will be, and they have kept their core together for some time, and they have been very successful."

Group 9 Round 1 results

Temora Dragons 38 (Tries: Jared McKinnon 3, Jock Ward, Drew Robinson, Hamish Starr; Conversions: Hamish Starr 5) defeated Junee Diesels 10 (Tries: Matt Carvosso, James Croyden; Conversion: Will McDermott).

Albury Thunder 14 (Tries: Lachlan Munro 2, Keanau Wighton; Conversion: Jade Duroux) defeated Tumut Blues 12 (Tries: Brayden Draber 2; Conversions: Jacob Toppin, Dean Bristow).

Wagga Kangaroos 44 (Tries: Latrell Siegwalt 2, Casey Lynch 2, Noa Fotu 2, James Smart, Tyler Jones; Conversions: Latrell Siegwalt 6) defeated Gundagai Tigers 16 (Tries: Jack Elphick, William Murray, Blake Dunn; Conversions: William Murray, Tristan Eldridge).

Round Two draw: Gundagai v Albury at Anzac Park, Tumut v Temora at Twickenham, Young v Wagga Kangaroos at Alfred Oval, Southcity (bye), Junee (bye). 

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners