A record crowd turned out last Friday evening to see the Bogan Bulls host the Warren Pumas in the Western Plains rugby competition.
The Pumas have been experiencing a resurgence of there own this year and were sitting higher on the ladder following the Bulls’ surprise loss to Brewarrina last week.
The Warren team were keen to avenge their first round loss to the Bulls and continue their rise from the ashes, while the local boys were acutely aware they needed a streak of wins to stay in the running for the finals.
The first minute of the game saw the Bulls give possession to Dom Kennedy who, in his trademark style, sidestepped the Warren front row and headed for the try line.
Ten metres out and facing the back line of Warren defenders Dom saw Bubba Perry running full tilt behind him.
A quick pass to Bubba and the Pumas had no hope of preventing the Bulls wrecking ball from smashing through for first points on the board less than 60 seconds after kick-off.
With the score at 7-0 and a whole game ahead of them, it was all credit to Warren that they knuckled down and put on a show of great rugby.
The Pumas front row were no match for the Bulls’ power forwards of Jones, Durkin, Broome, Perry, and Whaley who dominated the scrums time and time again.
The Pumas tried utilising their fast and agile backs but were unable to find a hole in the Nyngan defence.
The Bulls put Dom Kennedy over the line just on half-time taking the score to 12-0 at the break.
The second half restarted with Warren driving hard.
This paid off with a converted try bringing them up to 12-7 with Nyngan ahead, however the Bulls responded by sending Louie Durkin diving across the line extending their lead to 17-7.
The Bulls pushed hard for another try to earn a bonus point but the final whistle blew with the Nyngan team comfortably ahead and back in their winning form.
Coach Doug Holmes was asked to nominate standout performances of the night but said “there were too many, it was just great teamwork tonight”.
Tim Ellem was unbeatable in the line-outs, Nathan Jones, Kurt Whaley, and Louie Durkin tore holes in the Warren defence and Daniel Pumpa’s performance just keeps getting better.
Player’s Player was the toughest vote yet. Bubba Perry’s on-field leadership and Peter Broome’s devastating impact in attack saw them share the award and also one point towards the season tally.
Two points went to Dominic Kennedy who wreaked havoc all night alongside Jon O’Neil who earned three points as one of the season’s most consistent performers.
The reserve grade match gave Warren some hope of salvaging their pride on the evening however the Bulls proved too strong with a close fought 5-0 victory in a game that saw both sides field some local boys home for school holidays.
Sam Barclay, Jason Holmes, and Matt Sheather all put on an amazing display of rugby while Gunther showed he is still a force to be reckoned with, crossing the line with the ball only to be ‘held up’ and denied the try.
The Bulls are back in winning form and take on the Cobar Camels next Saturday at Larkin Oval.
The Camels will be looking to avenge their earlier loss to the Bulls and have no love for the Nyngan team.
The Bulls need to keep winning to stay in the running for the finals.
Kick-off will be 2pm this weekend with both first and second grade games set to play.