by Holly Slattery
The Bond University Bull Sharks forged ahead in the QFA ranks with a 42-point victory over the Ballina Bombers at The Canal on Saturday.
The highly physical match left Bond with an empty bench and injured team members playing out the game, but the Bull Shark’s embraced the pressure and rode the bumps.
A series of clean marks drove the Bond side’s first half which set the team up with a handy 24-point buffer leading into the major break.
The physicality lifted in the third quarter, with head coach John Chenhall praising his side’s resilience when the game was on the line.
“It was probably one of the most physical games I’ve ever seen at The Canal,” he said.
“We were left with no-one on the bench and players injured playing out the game.
“It meant that we had to be more defensive-minded. We had to control the game more and take a bit of sting out of it by just keeping possession which the guys did really well and was what we practised.
“The boys stood up for themselves and they didn’t take any backwards steps.
“I think in the past, definitely last year, it might have been borderline how we responded, but to their credit I asked them to really dig deep and said that it was going to be one of the better wins we’ve seen if they just kept going and matched them physically, which we did.”
A few consecutive days of sunny weather granted the return to home ground where the Bull Sharks unleashed pent-up energy from being sidelined due to rain for the last four rounds.
“It was like Round 1 again. I could tell before the game they were like kids at Christmas time,” said Chenhall.
“When you get so keen to play you can get overexcited, but to their credit they came out really well. We kicked the first four goals of the game and they settled really well once the game got going.”
The men’s reserves also dug deep to come away with a triple-digit win over Ballina, while both women’s teams took a trip up the M1 to play Coorparoo at Giffin Park.
The Brisbane side, currently sitting third on the QAFLW ladder, was relentless in attack against the reserves women who were left scoreless and ultimately fell by 32 points.
The women’s seniors were able to boost team spirits with a hard-fought 47-13 victory over the Coorparoo side. After a close first half, the Bull Sharks kicked away with a three goal third quarter to move into third place on the ladder.