Bulls on Parade

Bulls on parade!

By Joseph Hinchliffe

May 19, 2015, 7 a.m.

THE Weebolla Bulls have continued their unbeaten start to the 2015 season with both first grade and reserves putting the Inverell Highlanders to the sword at the weekend.

Playing in his 150th game for the club, number seven Ben Colley put in a man-of-the-match performance for first grade as they made it four in a row with a 35-7 win.

“He’s probably playing the best footy of his career,” coach Simon Hall said. “He’s the heart and soul of the team.

“When you need someone to ratchet up the intensity he leads from the front and that’s what he did on the weekend, once again.”

Colley was instrumental in a dominant second-half performance from the Moree side which saw them run away with a narrow half-time lead to claim their fourth consecutive bonus point and put them atop the Central North ladder.

“We did enough to get the bonus points so it’s a perfect start to the season,” Hall said. “You can’t ask for anymore than that.”

The Bulls had to rely on their depth of talent after losing both their representative stars who played in the victorious NSW Country Rugby Richardson Shield campaign.

Matt Wannan was unavailable and Chris Clyne went down with an injury in the opening five minutes and is likely to miss a number of games.

Zach Mather was a more than adequate replacement, coming on to score a try after a full game of reserves footy.

Ben Carrigan scored a try and kicked all five conversions, while Jordan Cosh bagged two tries. Even the coach himself crossed over for a five-pointer to join the party.

“It was a pushover try from the scrum,” Hall admitted. “I just fell on it to be honest.”

Hall attributed both his try and much of the win to a strong performance from the front row efforts of David Silversides – who replaced an injured Daniel Taunton – Luther Williams and Will Carrigan.

“We had to rely on a lot players stepping up from the reserves and they more than held their own,” Hall said. “It shows that going forward we will be able to cover for injuries, and the fact that we are winning now with all the work commitments the boys have going on, is a great sign.”

Earlier, the reserves made it three wins from three when they won 30-7. Grant Cleaver, Nathan Goodworth and Zach Mather all scored tries while Nathan Holland celebrated his 100th game with the club by slotting three conversions and three penalties.

The reserves sit second on the ladder but just two points behind table-topping Narrabri with a game in hand.

Both grades will face a major challenge this weekend when they host the Tamworth Pirates.

Hall said the meeting with last year’s grand finalist would be a crunch match for the Bulls.

“They’ve been the benchmark side for much of the last decade and if we can get a win this weekend it will set us up very nicely for the rest of the season.”

Last week the Bulls travelled to take on Tamworth’s other side, the Magpies.

The first grade bounced back from an early charge-down try to come home 24-42 winners while the reserves won 36-15.