Rugby season comes to a close

Oliver Gailey couldn’t be stopped in wet and wild conditions at the Bull Paddock on Sunday, making many barnstorming runs for the Tumut Bullants.

The Tumut Bullants and Tumut Bulls played their last games of the 2020 Southern Inland Rugby Union season over the weekend. 

Met by indecisive weather at The Bull Paddock on Sunday, that was raining sidewards one minute and sunny the next, The Bullants hosted Temora and Leeton. 

Playing across five grounds, smiling faces met the competition’s final round as SIRU moves into the off-season.

On Saturday, Tumut’s hosted the unbeaten and star-studded Wagga City Boiled Lollies in the final round of the first grade competition, and held their heads high, going down 45-12. 

City threatened to blow Tumut out of the water early in the game, after streaking to a 21-nil lead after 15 minutes, with tries to John Blackmore, Noa Rabici and James Olds, but Tumut dug deep and found a little something extra, keeping the visitors scoreless for the remainder of the half. 

Will Kingwill was again the standout for Tumut, leading by example with some strong runs and hard-hitting defence, and if there was a market on who would be named the club’s best and fairest in 2020, the consistent prop would be the short-price favourite. 

Tumut were first to score in the second half when Wame Turaganivalu scored a terrific try on the back of some nice work from Tate O’Donovan and Tumut were back in the match with the score now 21-7.

City scored a couple of tries following Tumut’s points, but again Kingwill was in the mix and changed the course of the game, running 20 metres and bumping off multiple defenders on his way to a very good individual try and bringing the score back to 35-12. 

Phil Shaw was again strong for the Tumut Bulls on Saturday.

Unfortunately, a determined City were able to score a couple of late tries to run out easy winners in the end. 

Coach Jonathan Hulks was proud of his playing group, beleiving they had performed well in their last game of the season.

“I think the boys played well considering it was the last game of the season,” Hulks said. 

“City came out to try and prove a point and I think we might have stopped them in their tracks a little bit and gave them something to think about before their grand final.”

The first-year Bulls coach said a slow start hurt Tumut, who then recovered and were thereabouts for the remainder of the  contest. 

“We were a little bit asleep in the first half but we woke up and played some good rugby,” Hulks said. 

“They should be praised for their efforts.” 

The Bulls will now get some time to recover this off-season before the inaugural SIRU sevens competition later this year, while Wagga City will progress to the grand final, taking on Wagga Waratahs in the season decider at Conolly Park on Saturday.