After multiple delays and a handful of teams pulling out, the Tumut Bullants will finally kick off their Southern Inland Rugby Union season this weekend with an away trip to Temora.
The five-round competition will see Tumut playing at Temora twice, Grenfell once, while the club will host Temora and Leeton on two separate occasions later in the season.
Bullants president, Mick Leane said that kids were pleased to finally get back on the paddock.
“The kids are excited to get back out and play and every one seems really keen to get started,” Leane said.
In a testament to the small but hard-working club, the Bullants will field every boy’s age group and two girl’s age groups.
“We have all the boy’s age groups, with the 14s playing with the Cootamundra boys and the 16s playing with the Wagga boys,” Leane said.
“We have the two girls touch teams (under 10s and 13s) but no girls tackle which is unfortunate, but that is the circumstance.”
Tumut, who were originally not interested in hosting any half gala days, have been lobbed with two but Leane and his committee didn’t mind because they would only host two clubs on each of the days.
“The big thing there is that we can host it all at one venue. Instead of hosting across multiple venues, all games will be played at The Bull Paddock,” Leane said.
Leane was very thankful to Jack Heffernan and Paul Spain of SIRU, who essentially designed the draw amid last-minute changes and club cancellations.
“They have done the best they could with a pretty bad lot,” Leane laughed
“It’s a difficult situation but the draw they have developed is as good as its going to be for us and the furthest we will travel to is Temora and I think they’ve done a fantastic job with limited resources.”
Southern Inland Rugby Union Competitions and Rugby Services manager, Jack Heffernan was pleased to see rugby returning for junior players.
“Absolutely we are excited for the juniors who get to play some rugby this weekend,” Heffernan said.
SIRU also made sure the dates remained the same as previous draws, although host towns have changed due to some clubs dropping out.
“The draw has the same dates as the previous draw. We wanted to keep the dates to provide some consistency for families and players,” Heffernan said.
When asked what he expected of parents and players this weekend, it was pretty simple; just keep a safe distance and only stay as long as needed.
“Just to keep your safe distance where possible and try and promote a ‘get in and play and get out’ mentality,” Heffernan said.
Bullants season draw
August 2 – Temora
August 16 – Grenfell
August 30 – Tumut
September 13 – Temora
September 20 – Tumut