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Forwards must stand up against powerful Easts packs.

Georgia Grey
Georgia Grey

 

Bull Sharks v Easts at The Canal.  

Premier Women 

Last time they met:

Rd 11, 2023 at Easts 

Easts won 11-10 

It is always a tough physical game up front and last year they were better than us on the day.

The opposition:  

They are big, powerful and aggressive, they are one of the front runners this year and have an abundance of quality players across the entire squad. I rate Easts as one of the most dominant scrums in the competition and with talented dangerous backs, we will need to be on our game defensively.

Shuffling the magnets:

We have named our strongest line-up of the season this game. Backs Ariana Hira and Georgia Grey come into the starting line up to bolster the attack, and the return of Jemma Bemrose to the side of the scrum is definitely a gain on defence.

Where it will be won:

If our pack can fire and set a solid platform up front I believe our centre pairing of Ariana Hira and Mel Wilks will be damaging. Their ability to get the ball to our talent on the edge in Dianne Waight and Georgia Grey will be critical.

The final word:

These games are worthy of a final, and we are treating it as such. We are looking forward to a brutal match up at home and the chance to continue our unbeaten run.

With Shannon Symon. 

Premier Men 

Harrison Usher
Harrison Usher will start for the Premier Men 

Last time they met:

Rd 11 2023 at Easts 

Bond won 32-29

The opposition: 

They started slowly but have been building the past couple of weeks. Easts have a pretty simple direct game plan, they rely on their forwards a fair bit and they like to physically challenge you. 

If you don’t meet that challenge, you are in for a long day.

On reflection: 

Our forwards were disappointing last week, we conceded 24 points through our forward pack. You aren’t going to have the perfect game ever, but we knew it was coming, we planned for it and we still couldn’t cope with it. Easts would have seen that so there’s no prizes for guessing what their game plan will be. 

Shuffling the magnets:

We are going to start with Harry Bell and Harrison Usher in the front row which is good and then get Rhys Sherrif and Levi Samuela to bring us home. It worked well for us against GPS, and we thought the young fellas gave us some real energy early in the game.  

Lukas Ripley has been called back to the Rebels so we don’t think he will be available, and Connor McEldowney injured his knee against Brothers and is likely to miss a bit of footy.

Ieaun Cornelius is back from Colts 1 and he is lightning quick so we will certainly have an electric back three.

Where it will be won:

We have to be able to lay a platform for our talented outside backs to get to work. They have been in superb form and are scoring a lot of tries but they don’t do it by themselves. It comes from some tidy work inside them. We need to be efficient in the midfield and get the ball to them in some space. 

The challenge:

It’s about when the opposition has the ball. We have to stand up in the midfield. They rolled through us too easily from the start last week and by the time we woke up the horse had bolted. Our losses this season have all been similar where we have given away early leads.

The final word:

This is a really important game for us. We have to win to stay in touch with where we need to be in the first round. .  

Easts will be desperate too after a slow start they can’t afford to drop too far behind the pack.  

With Mick Heenan. 

Colts 1

Last time they met: 

Rd 11, 2023 at Easts.

Easts won 26-22

It was a close game last year and we fell short by four points to a quality side that made it to the second week of the finals. 

The opposition: 

Easts are always well structured with a very good set piece. Their number 8 is a very good player who we will have to watch closely.

Shuffling the magnets:

We have Cam Bodley coming in at lock to fix our lineout woes, Harry Ole is away playing representative footy for the Cyclones. We also welcome back flyhalf Kobe Waikato who was impressive in the first two rounds of the competition. 

One to watch: 

Blake Raymond was our man of the match last week and is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment so expect a good performance from him.

The focus: 

Individual accuracy and fix up out lineout are the keys. If we get that right, we apply pressure and should be able to convert to points. 

The final word:

We have been building well the past two weeks after a poor performance against GPS. Our effort has been great, and we just need to match that with accuracy to have a shot at winning. 

With Rico Gear.

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