The City of Bunbury Bulls junior rugby club fell just short of taking out the 2016 Perth Swan League premiership when they played their grand final at HBF Arena in Joondalup on Saturday.
The under 17s academy side from Bunbury finished the regular season on top of the ladder and earned their spot in the decider against the Southern Lions with a win 21-7 semi final over Kalamunda.
In front of a big Perth crowd, the Bunbury side made a great start with strong forward drives testing the Lions defence, especially down the blindside.
After 15 minutes, the Lions defence was cut apart from another phase of hard running forwards and Nico Brown at five eight scored a powerful try – beating three defenders to do so.
This shocked the Lions into great and they counter attacked well with a good try scored by their backs. This saw the scores locked together a 7-all at half time.
In the second half, both sides continued to attack well but the Bulls defence was outstanding at making many try-scoring tackles.
Additionally, the Bulls scrum kept the Lions under pressure with the strong front row of Wharepuhi Rikihana, Jean Godfrey and Che Graham causing havoc in the set piece.
But it was the Lions who scored the last try of the game with a well worked play to give them a 14-7 point victory.
The squad were left disappointed as the final whistle sounded but conducted themselves in a professional and gracious manner.
All year, the side have impressed their coaches and parents with their dedication to the sport and each other. They leave the field this season being able to stand tall and proud of their achievements.
The club were also praised by Rugby WA for the high standard of play the team have bought to the competition. This dedication was recognised with Juan Le Roux being presented with a prestigious sportsmanship award.
The sides coach Shane Jerret-Brown spoke to the Mail before the big game and said regardless of the result, the side has had an outstanding year and learned a lot.
“The Bunbury Bulls have had incredible support throughout the year and while playing in the Perth league has sometimes presented logistical challenges, it’s been a real pleasure,” he said.
“My coaching staff of Kenneth Te-Wano and Chris Basher have been an incredible help to me, the parents have been wonderful at getting the boys to games and cheering them on when they are playing and the team themselves have shown real determination to succeed.”
To see more photos visit bunburymail.com.au.
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