Liam Dunn celebrates 100 first grade games as Muswellbrook Rams secure hosting rights for Group 21 major semi-final

MUSWELLBROOK Rams forward Liam Dunn won’t forget his 100th first grade appearance in a hurry.

Not only did the side knock over the Denman Devils 44-8 on Saturday night, but the home team wrapped up the 2017 BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League minor premiership and secured the hosting rights for the major semi-final at Olympic Park on August 19.

“It was a real good weekend,” he admitted.

“All five grades got up, including the under-16s.”

Surprisingly, the hard-working second-rower began his senior career at the end of the Muswellbrook backline.

“I was playing in the under-18s – and made my debut on the wing,” Dunn said.

“That was 2004 and, I’ll admit, I can’t remember who it was against.

“But, this milestone means a lot to me.

“My family’s been heavily involved, including mum and dad, in the Rams for a long time.

“I guess we’re part of the furniture,” he added with a laugh.

Dunn said the 36-point drubbing was a terrific way to bounce back, following the Singleton loss in round 13.

“Knowing we’ve got the minor premiership takes a bit of pressure off,” he told the Chronicle.

“Now, we need to fine-tune everything in readiness for the play-offs – starting on Saturday against the Scone Thoroughbreds.

“The Where There’s A Will round not only hits home for the Thoroughbreds, but with us as well, via the Taylor family.

“I’m sure all the boys will lift for the occasion.”

Dunn said it was great to be a part of the Rams’ resurgence in Group 21.

“We went four or five years without a win,” he recalled.

“So, it’s a big turnaround.

“And, it’s been a long time since Muswellbrook had a major semi-final at home.

“However, the guys have worked hard and trained their guts out.

“Co-coaches Steve Haylen and Gary ‘Bomber’ Jones also deserve plenty of praise.

“We can’t wait for the play-offs.

“The atmosphere at last year’s grand final was amazing – it would be great to experience that same sort of feeling again at Olympic Park on August 19.”

Round 14 results:

First grade –

Muswellbrook def Denman 44-8

Aberdeen def Scone 20-16

Singleton won on a forfeit from Greta Branxton

Reserve grade –

Muswellbrook def Denman 74-0

Murrurundi def Greta Branxton 30-6

Aberdeen def Scone 26-22

Singleton def Merriwa 34-18

Under-18s –

Muswellbrook def Denman 28-16

Singleton def Scone 28-18

Women’s league tag –

Muswellbrook def Denman 58-0

Murrurundi def Greta Branxton 46-0

Scone def Aberdeen 14-4

Merriwa def Singleton 16-4