Bull Sharks devour Eagles in watery encounter

May 23, 2022

Connor Pritchard scored two tries in the sodden match.

A commanding 38-13 win over the Norths Eagles at Hugh Courtney Oval has pushed the Bull Sharks into the top four teams of the Hospital Cup competition.

The messy match in torrential conditions opened with a penalty try awarded to Bond after a deliberate knockdown by Norths winger Willie Malala.

After a penalty goal from Norths, the Bull Sharks returned serve with Fijian powerhouse Abele Atunaisa leaving five Eagles defenders in his wake as he crossed beneath the posts, extending Bond’s lead to 14-3.

Bond conceded two tries late in the first half before flanker Connor Pritchard got his first of two tries off the back of a rolling maul.

At halftime, Pritchard spoke about remaining patient when in possession.

“It’s scrappy out there. We are trying to swing the ball out wide when we need to play a bit tighter and stop the 50/50 offloads,” the flanker said.

The Bull Sharks heard Pritchard’s message loud and clear, scoring two quick tries up the middle with Irish lock Matt Dalton and vice-captain Jake Upfield both crossing.

As the play began to open up, Bond University rounded out the game with final try off a pinpoint cross-field kick from flyhalf Hayden Sargeant. It landed in the arms of Pritchard who dealt the final blow to the Eagles, securing a 25-point win for the Bull Sharks.

Attack coach Damon Virtue was pleased with the win in the conditions but said the team still had plenty to work on.

“I think we lacked a discipline at times and gave away easy possession but there were plenty of positives and I think we built pressure and played in the right areas of the field,” Virtue said.

In the only other game of the day due to weather cancelations, the Bond University Colts one side came away with a narrow 14-10 win. Nik Mitchell scored Bond’s only try, with three penalty goals off the boot of winger Ieuan Cornelius securing the win.

The Bull Sharks will be back at The Canal next week in an important match up against the Souths Magpies.