Braidwood Redbacks and Bungendore Mudchooks set to improve form

Saturday, April 13, was a bad day for rugby union in the Queanbeyan Palerang region, with both the Braidwood Redbacks and the Bungendore Mudchooks recording losses against the Jindabyne Bushpigs and Yass Rams respectively.

Braidwood v Crookwell

Braidwood v Crookwell

The teams sit at fifth (Bungendore) and sixth (Braidwood) on the South Coast Monaro Second Division ladder, and have both had mixed starts to the season.

The Redbacks began with a loss to the Taralga Tigers in round one, before bouncing back with a victory over perennial finals contenders, the Crookwell Dogs, in round two.

Similarly, Bungendore began with a 37-3 defeat at the hands of the Bushpigs, before rebounding to defeat the Broulee Dolphins.

Both sides have endured tough draws to begin their seasons, as Jindabyne, Taralga, and Yass are all serious finals contenders, however both teams will see their results very differently.

The Redbacks finished 2018 at ninth out of ten teams on the ladder. Their season finished on an upward trajectory, with two wins in their last two matches, and the off-season was spent recruiting and training with high intensity.

This means that Braidwood has performed well to remain competitive in a highly talented competition, especially to claim an early win over Crookwell, who were the 2017 champions.

Meanwhile, Bungendore were the 2018 runners-up and only lost to Taralga in the grand final due to a last-minute penalty goal.

Having comfortably finished in the top four last season, the Mudchooks were expected to continue that form early in 2019.

However, they should not be dismissed as yet, because they produced a similarly mercurial start to the 2018 season, with three wins and five losses in the first eight rounds before they hit their straps in the latter half of the year.

Now that all teams have enjoyed a break over the Easter weekend, this weekend's fixtures will be critical.

Braidwood will play the Broulee Dolhpins in Broulee this Saturday, a match in which they are favourites as the Dolphins are yet to win a match.

Meanwhile, Bungendore will take on the Crookwell Dogs in Crookwell; a match which they should also win.