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Bull Sharks return to The Canal for Rd 3 blockbuster

Fred Dorrough
Fred Dorrough in action for the Bull Sharks in Rd 1. 

Premier Men 

Last time they met:

2023 Semi Final. Wests win 40 – 26. 

Welcome back: 

George Blake returns from the Reds and will be an important addition for us up front. He has really developed over the past couple of years both physically and also by adding some different facets to his game. And he brings experience from having that exposure to Super Rugby. I got to know him well last year when we were together at the Reds and he is a great guy who is very committed to constantly improving himself and also very committed to Bond.  

One to watch:

Experienced Super Rugby player Lukas Ripley will play outside centre for us. I coached Lucas at UQ and with the Rebels having the bye this weekend, he’s agreed to come and have a game with us. He is a talented player who will add a lot to us this weekend.

The opposition:

Wests have been the benchmark of the competition for the last few years largely due to their relationship with the Rebels and they’ll have some big-name inclusions this week.  Pone Fa’amausili is a powerful front rower who was in the Wallabies World Cup squad and his battle in the scrum with George Blake will be a highlight of this game. The brothers David and Glen Vaihu will be dangerous out in the centres, and we’ll also have to work hard to curb the influence of Rebel’s fly half Mason Gordon.  

New faces: 

One of our Colts Fergus Gillan will be starting for us, he played well against Wests in the trial and we are excited to see what he can do at this level. Another Colt, winger Ieuan Cornelius will also make his debut. We are getting game time into some of our Colts , probably more than we expected, and they will continue to get a taste of grade footy as we go through the season. This will help the club out in the long run as the players learn so much from their exposure to the senior football. It will also pay off for the Colts as the players will go back better footballers.  

Mick’s message: 

“We are playing against a team that rolled us pretty convincingly in the semi-final last year, and after starting this season with a loss we want to bounce back with a good performance. 

“We want to see the guys really get on the front foot physically and we want to see more aggression than we showed against Sunnybank. Wests are a big physical team, and the reality is if we don’t bring that aggression, and allow Wests to get the upper hand, they will do some damage.

With Mick Heenan 

Melanie Wilks
Melanie Wilks returns for the Bull Sharks 

Premier Women

Last time they met:

Rd 10, 20023 at The Canal. Bull Sharks win 31-15 

New faces:

 Former England U18s star Lucy Thorpe will make her debut for the Bull Sharks. The highly skilled backrower came out to Australia to play for Bond and impressed enough over pre-season to earn a Reds contract. With the Super W season now over she’s ready to make her mark at The Canal. 

Shuffling the magnets:

Forward Jemma Bemrose and Cobi Jane Morgan, Ariana Hira and Mel Wilks in the backline are all available for selection. 

The opposition:

Wests are highly skilled, fit, fast and use the ball well. They showed us what they are capable of by beating us comfortably in the pre-season and we know we have to be on our game to rectify this on our home ground.

One to watch:

Jemma Bemrose pulls on the Bull Sharks jersey once more off the back of a solid campaign in Super Rugby with the Queensland Reds. Already a standout for us at this level in recent seasons, she has built on her game in the topflight and will add another dimension to an already talent stacked pack. 

Where it will be won:

The combination of current and former international midfielders Ariana Hira and Mel Wilks adds a huge boost in attacking strength and solidity in our defence. We are looking forward to assisting the girls to build on this combination and are excited by what that can mean to our team. 

The final word: 

We were embarrassed at home by Wests in the pre-season. Some people ignore trial form but that performance was not something that sits well with the team. It is time to step it up and show what we can do.

With Shannon Symon

Colts

Last time they met: 

Rd 10, 2023 at The Canal. Wests win 26-17

Welcome back:

Big Ollie Barrett, the Australian U20s hooker, is back after starting the season in the Premier Grade side. He is a very good young footballer and will help us massively. We are also excited by the return of Joe Murray. The flanker broke his leg in a trial last year and missed the entire season, so we are thrilled for him that he has bene able to work his way back.  

The opposition: 

They are a well coached team with Phil Money’s experience coaching at Super Rugby level. Under Phil Wests’ set piece is very well organised so our defence will be pretty important this week. The challenge is to be organised, communicate and stay connected and if we can do that and everyone knows where they are supposed to be we hope to be able to turn the ball over. 

One to watch:

Rocco Gollings is coming into the side after playing in Premier Grade in Rd 1. He is typically an outside back, but we think he is pretty versatile, and he brings a lot of worldly experience having played in the Aussie 7s program. We will use him to bolster our midfield. He is a tough tackler and Wests have some very good centres, so we are looking forward to having him there for us.

With Rico Gear 

 

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