GUNNEDAH Bulldogs will have plenty of fire in the belly when they tackle the Tamworth Swans at Tamworth’s No1. Oval today as part of a final round double-header.
The Bulldogs were this week docked of their points from their round 10 clash with the New England Nomads for playing a player deemed ineligible.
Muswellbrook has also lost points for the same infringement against the Tamworth Swans a round later.
The news came as a shock to the Bulldogs and has them fuming.
“We’re spewing,” president Dave Chapman said.
He believes the player in question was cleared to play and is disgusted with the way the situation has been handled.
“We knew nothing about it until lunchtime yesterday (Thursday),” he said.
They were yesterday looking into whether there was anything they could do.
In the end it may not make too much difference to them though.
If they can get the job done against the Swans in the first leg of the double-header at No.1 Oval today, then they should be right for fourth.
But the points reversal has left it a race of three for the final spot, with the Bulldogs, Cats and Tamworth Swans all level on points heading in.
The top three is settled – it’s just a matter of what order they finish in.
This week’s events has also altered the minor premiership battle, which was to be decided at Bellevue Oval today with the Nomads taking on the Tamworth Kangaroos.
The Nomads look to have first spot sewn up with the additional four points they picked up for the Bulldogs’ infringement.
That pushed them a win clear of the Roos.
The Roos can level with them with a win today but will still struggle to knock the Nomads off their perch at the top, with the New England side boasting a much better percentage.
Heading in, they have 187.84 and the Roos 138.33.
The Roos could also miss out on the top two altogether.
That could well be the situation they find themselves in if they don’t beat the Nomads and Inverell gets up against the Cats in Tamworth.
The Saints will go level on points with the Roos and, like the Nomads on percentages, they would go ahead, consigning the Roos to third.
The Nomads are coming off a stirring win over the Saints a week ago and haven’t been beaten by the Roos yet this season, with a 50 point win in round three backed up by a comeback thriller in Tamworth six weeks later.
The Swans/Bulldogs clash will get underway at 1pm with the Saints and Cats playing at 3pm.
The proceedings on the field will be followed tomorrow night by the announcement of the 2012 Tony Gillies Medal winner.