Eventually sanity prevailed at Ashwood Park in Bathurst on Saturday in the first grade clash between competition-leaders Bulldogs and the hapless Dubbo Rhinos.
Nanjing Night Net

After 57 minutes, with the home side scoring at 1.75 points a minute, time was called on the slaughter with the Bulldogs sitting on an even 100 points and staring at the genuine possibility that they could have topped 150 should the full 80 minutes have been played out.

After hooker Alex Weal crossed for his third try of the match to bring up triple figures, Bulldogs coach Murray Hooper extended a welcome olive branch to his counterpart Paul Hausia and offered to pull stumps.

Even for home fans, it was probably the best thing that could have happened.

The winless Rhinos copped a similar belting in second grade but the majority of that side backed up to play firsts, and a further handful had even played third grade. As a result, the expected flogging was a foregone conclusion.

Hooper was gracious afterwards and praised the Rhinos for their commitment to the competition.

“Firstly I would just like to thank the Dubbo boys for making the effort to come over here and field all grades, some of them played three games just to make sure that they filled their commitment to keeping four teams on the paddock and I have to commend them for that,” he said.

“Many other occasions I have seen clubs – I won’t name them – just decide they aren’t going to field a third grade side or whatever but these guys made the effort to do it.

“We’re happy with the way it finished, I’m happy we stayed with our structures and didn’t try and turn it into a sevens game, and I’m happy that when the Rhinos started to get into the niggle a bit – which I don’t blame them for at all given the circumstances – we stayed out of it.”

The Bulldogs completed victories across the board against the Rhinos winning second grade 104-0; 24-10 in thirds and 45-7 in Colts.

The Colts’ defeat of the Rhinos was something of a surprise but with CSU having the bye, they are still on top of the ladder, four points clear of the students with Bulldogs three adrift.


(Chris Plunkett 3, Alex Weal 3, Tim Kaufusi 2, Jordan Bull, Chris Porter, Paul Miller, Andrew Gray, Jono Cody, Isaac Breen, Adam Dwyer, Dane Fitzpatrick tries, Mitch Lavelle 9, Fitzpatrick conversions)


Sam Debenham

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