The Tumut Bullettes will spend their second consecutive week on the sideline, with a competition bye on Saturday following on from the June long weekend bye.
The break is timely for the Red and Blacks, who have only won two games and drawn one other during the first nine rounds of the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) season, which means they sit seventh and six competition points outside of the all-important top four.
Bullettes coach Shane Herrington was ruing a round nine loss to Wagga City where they went down 15-10 when beaten on the buzzer.
“It was just a bit of bad luck, there was a bad call in the middle of the paddock when we were going to score and they stopped play and still gave us the ball back anyways,” Herrington said.
“Then right in the dying stages of the game, the girls lacked a little bit of fitness and they scored and it was a frustrating finish.”
For the time being, Herrington is focusing on fitness and he has asked his players to work harder away from the training paddock.
“Right now, the fitness has really lifted and the girls’ game has improved, but we can improve some more,” Herrington said.
“We are focusing one day on fitness and one day on ball work and I have put it to the girls to do their own stuff outside of training.”
Defence has also been an area of focus for Herrington, who is confident that his team can make up the games in the final nine rounds of the competition and play finals.
“The girls have to go away from playing compressed in the middle of the paddock and they have to play expansive right across the field,” Herrington said.
“I think training a fanned defence has worked for us because what is happening is that a lot of sides we are playing, they are getting to the outside of us, and they have quick girls and we can’t catch them.
“That fanned defence has made a difference in the last two games and we will continue to work on it.”
A balanced approach in attack will help the Bullettes score points.
“Our forwards through the middle have been solid, and our backs have improved with fitness and have become elusive, which is great,” Herrington said.
“Everyone knows you win a game in the forwards, and the backs determine by how much, and we just need to see both sides doing their job.”
The Bullettes play next weekend in round 11 of the SIRU competition when visiting a struggling Leeton Phantoms.
Bulls face City … again
For the second round in a row, the Tumut Bulls take on Wagga City, this time travelling to Conolly Rugby Park in round 10 of the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition.
Tumut are fresh off a 73-17 drubbing that came at the hands of the top of the table and unbeaten Boiled Lollies, and a fast Wagga track could mean there are points to be scored again on Saturday.
Tumut will welcome back players from injury and suspension, with Oliver Toma and Lewis Simister expected to add some zest to the Tumut forward pack.
Still, after a week off, and with a round 11 bye following this weekend’s game, Tumut will be throwing everything at the premiers in the hope of pulling off the upset of the season.
In other SIRU round 10 games, Albury play host to a winless Reddies and Aggies are up against ai with Waratahs coming to visit at Beres Ellwood Oval.
In an odd turn of events, Tumut’s second grade side are at home, hosting the Deniliquin Drovers – this is the only game played at Jarrah Oval on Saturday.
The Bulls reserve grade side has two wins and a draw for the season, and sit seven points outside of the top five.
If they are any chance of playing finals, the Red and Blacks will need to knock off Deni, who won the reverse fixture 7-5 when they met way back in round one.
Round 10 draw
12.55pm: Second grade v Deniliquin at Jarrah Oval.
3.15pm: First grade v Wagga City at Conolly Rugby Park.