By Grace Knight
The Bull Sharks reserves have set up a showdown with the Burleigh Bombers in this Sunday’s Grand Final which will be a re-run of last year’s battle for the flag.
The Bull Sharks played a spectacular game of football in wet and muddy conditions at the Alan Nielson Oval to secure a commanding 72-8 win over the Carrara Saints in the QFA Division 2 south preliminary final.
What it means
The Bull Sharks will be seeking redemption after last year’s 97-34 Grand Final loss to the Bombers.
But after a strong, consistent season with both teams well-matched, it could be anyone’s game this year.
If the Bull Sharks can overcome Burleigh and take home the flag, it will make them the first Bond reserves team to hold a premiership.
Saturday’s game was among the Bull Sharks’ best of the season, with their determination and fight on show from the first bounce.
They dominated the game with well-placed set-ups keeping the ball in their half for most of the game. It was a much-needed win, with the Saints defeating the Bull Sharks in three previous match-ups.
The strong win in tough conditions will give the Bull Sharks a vital boost of confidence going into the final.
The structure and discipline of the Bull Sharks’ backline saw them overturn almost every one of Carrara’s breaks, with impactful backline performances from Archie Prime and Mitchell Dell who held the Saints at bay, making it hard for them to score.
Key midfield players included Charles Hocking, Blake Spencer, and Adam Forward who delivered critical plays.
What they said
Head coach Adam Pearson was filled with pride for his troops.
“Everyone was really dedicated, dug in really hard, and we played unbelievably well which was very pleasing to see,” he said.
“It was really trying conditions but the boys showed lots of desperation and really excelled in the mud.”
He said the team was feeling optimistic heading into the Grand Final.
“Everyone is on such a high that we managed to finally pull a full game together and play the way we did,” Pearson said.