The national Oztag Over-45s team in New Zealand. John Tulloch is sixth from the right in the back row and Noel Bailey is third
The national Oztag Over-45s team in New Zealand. John Tulloch is sixth from the right in the back row and Noel Bailey is third

Local duo proud representatives

By ADRIAN MILLER

NOEL Bailey and John Tulloch might be a little older, less well known and play a completely different sport to Adam Gilchrist and Craig Foster, but after captaining their country recently, they share an achievement with Lismore's two greatest sporting exports.

And their trip to New Zealand for a recent Oztag Trans-Tasman Test series was infinitely more successful than the Australian cricket team's.

Lismore resident Bailey and Brunswick Heads local Tulloch were part of the Australian Over-45s Oz Tag side which swept their Kiwi counterparts 5-0 in a Test series held in Auckland the weekend before last.

But it wasn't just the results which were the highlight for the pair after they co-captained the Australian team in the Second Test, which they won 6-1.

Bailey and Tulloch have represented Australia numerous times ? Bailey has played in five series ? with both touring New Zealand and Ireland in 2003.

And they don't have time to rest on their laurels, with the NSW Championships in Coffs Harbour at the end of the month.

Bailey said the fact a side from the area consistently sent a team to the State Championships was one reason behind their continued Australian representation.

"We have an Over-45s side that's been playing for a while in the national titles so we've had a number of Australian reps in the older divisions," he said.

Bailey said the games against New Zealand were tight affairs, but the Aussies always seemed to have the edge.

"Most of them are former league players, so they play a fairly similar style to us, but we as a team had a slight speed edge that probably told through the game," he said.

"Each game was hotly contested and we managed to break their defence a couple of times and they had difficulty doing that.

"It's a great honour to play for Australia in any sport and we've really appreciated the opportunity to represent our country at a more senior level."



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