Maiden magic for the Bulls

FOR so long they have been so close and now finally they’ve cracked it - their maiden win of the 2011 Central Highlands rugby season.

After six games of rugby where the points margin was never any greater than four, the Moranbah Bulls claimed their first win of the year with a 24-21 victory over Clermont Bushpigs at the weekend.

The significance of the Bulls win was not lost on the Bulls’ assistant coach Anthony Clark.

“It’s a fantastic feeling (to win) and it really does mean a lot to the boys,” Clark said.

“We dominated in the forwards, scoring a few tries from the maul… there are nothing but positives for the first win.”

For Bulls’ captain Kristian Paul it was a relief to see their losing streak come to an end, but he said he was reassured in the knowledge it was not a matter of “if” they were going to win but “when”, after coming agonisingly close to snatching victory away from the Emerald Rams in Capella the previous week.

“I walked off that field (Capella) and knew with five more minutes we would have won it,” he said.

“That was a nothing side we threw together and almost pulled it off.

“The loss to Emerald has been the turning point in our season and now I think the players have got a bit more belief in themselves.”

In just their second year in the local competition, Moranbah is quickly cementing itself with a “dark horse” reputation and on their good days are definitely not a side to be taken lightly on the paddock.

The finals series may still be a distant prospect for many Highlands teams but for Moranbah, it’s very much on their radar.

“You can never say never (for a finals place),” Paul said.

“This season we’re a little more established, we’ve still got the core group from last year but also got a few new blokes as well.

“Ideally we would like to sit third and then come home strongly with our last three games of the season all at home.

“As long as we can stay in touch with the bonus points, I reckon we’re every chance.”

In other Central Highlands match-ups Emerald Rams strung together a slender 22-19 win over Rolleston Roos at the weekend.

With a points win hanging in the balance for both sides, it was the Rams’ forward pack that got over the line, quite literally, with no less than four tries scored from the scrum base.

“Our scrum was fantastic, it just seemed to click and really set the platform when we were close to their line in attack, or close to our line and in dire need of clean ball,” Rams spokesperson Simon Green said. “Harry ‘Hazard’ Thoskie had a blinder all around the paddock, he really put on a show and proved what he is capable of in loose play. Well done to Rolleston for giving us a really good run and I think they can count themselves unlucky, they deserved to win just as much as we did,” Green said.

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