by Grace Knight
The Bull Sharks senior men are gearing up for a top-of-the-table clash with the Burleigh Bombers on Saturday for round 7 of the QFA season.
Burleigh sit as the ladder leaders with six wins with Bond trailing closely behind in second spot with five wins and a loss.
However, the Bull Sharks boast a stronger percentage of 217 which would give them the lead if they are victorious at The Canal.
Buoyed by strong wins against Coolangatta and Coomera, the Bull Sharks are feeling confident as they prepare to challenge the ladder leaders and potentially dethrone them.
Here is what you need to know ahead of the match.
Last time they met
The Bull Sharks last faced Burleigh in round 13 of the 2022 season where the Bombers emerged three-point winners in a tightly contested game.
Prior to this, Bond secured a convincing win over Burleigh in round 4 with a score line of 113-76.
Outside of the regular season, the teams met once again in the 2022 finals where Burleigh emerged triumphant
Squad looking solid
Head coach Luke Mansbridge expects minimal changes to the team for this match, anticipating a similar or identical line-up to last week’s team that defeated Coolangatta.
“We feel like we’re building some good momentum at the moment and the game plan seems to be coming together,” he said.
“It’s a really good feeling around the club and it’s certainly been fun to coach with the boys playing how they have been.
“They’re all very coachable with a strong desire to play well and do well for their teammates, so it feels really positive.”
This season the Bull Sharks adopted a new game plan and have been consistently working on specific aspects of their game throughout the season.
Whilst the implementation of this game plan is still a work in progress, the past few weeks have shown promising signs.
Recognising Burleigh’s formidable strength as an undefeated team, the Bull Sharks are fully aware of their opponent’s style of play.
Much like Coolangatta and Carrara, Burleigh tend to adopt a physical approach to dominate contests.
Senior men’s captain Wyatt Bacon said applying frontal pressure and being strong in contested situations would be key to overthrowing the ladder leaders.
“We just want to focus on all the basics and fundamentals of winning the ball like being physical and holding our structure,” Bacon said.
“Last week we ticked all of those boxes really well, so if we can do that again against Burleigh then we’ll be in a good spot.”
Whilst Burleigh’s undefeated status makes them a formidable opponent, the match will serve as a good measuring stick for the Bull Sharks’ progress and potential.
Match day information
The Canal, Bond University Main Oval
12:00pm Reserves men
2:00pm Senior men
The Bull Sharks senior women and reserves women in the QAFLW both have a bye.