Despite the Southern Inland Rugby Union first grade competition dropping away to just four teams in 2020, the Tumut Bulls playing group still believe the competition is there to won in what will likely be a very even competition.
Bulls co-coach and fullback, Mitch Ivill was keeping a positive outlook on the season ahead, and was just savouring the opportunity to play some rugby this year.
“I’m a little more glass half full on it; I see it as a good opportunity to still sneak a few games in and help build on the football club for the next full season,” Ivill said.
Ivill didn’t think that a shortened SIRU season, without the likes of Griffith, Albury and Aggies, took anything away from the eventual winner claiming bragging rights and the coveted Blair and Walsh trophy.
“I don’t think it takes away from whoever wins it; they’ve obviously still put a lot of effort into training and getting their team ready,” Ivill said.
“I think it’ll be a good way for a team and/or town to take a bit optimism and pride out of what has been a rough year for sport so far.”
When asked the tough question and probed on Tumut’s chances of lifting the trophy for the first time in years, Ivill was again keeping positive.
“I think every year Tumut has a good opportunity to give the comp a run for its money; in saying that, I think the shortened season definitely suites us a little more,” Ivill said.
If the Bulls do win, Ivill believes it will come back to the hard-working players and committee members who have pushed for the season to be possible.
“Credit should go to the players and staff this year that have still been showing up and working around these new conditions,” Ivill said.
“If we were to win, I believe it would be because of the hard work of our players turning up week in and week out with everything that’s happening, not because of the season schedule.”
Bulls club captain Will Kingwill was another player just happy to be back training and preparing to play and believed that a four-team competition still offered enough for those clubs who wanted to participate.
“It’s a good thing that we are going to get some footy in this year, it’s very unfortunate that teams have had to pull out of certain grades, or all together, but that is the best choice for those clubs,” Kingwill said.
“At the end of the day if four teams are the first grade comp, let the best team win.”
Coen Potter was excited to see four teams with history taking on each for the title and believed that all three Wagga sides would be hard to beat on any given day.
“I think it’s exciting in a way, you have four teams who are very heavy rivals battling it out,” Potter said.
“Its going to be extremely tough, because from what I’ve heard there will be no weak Wagga side.
“Waratahs are always a competitor, Wagga City will look to improve on their last season, have recruited well and have great numbers, and from all reports CSU have recruited well.”
Potter put the responsibility to perform and potentially push for the title back on Tumut players though, suggesting there was no room for second chances and excuses.
“If the Bulls can pull off something special this year, it’s going to take a lot of hard work,” Potter said.
There’s going to be no place for complacency this year, otherwise the other three teams will wipe you out.”