Bulls keen to move the ball about and avoid arm wrestle

LAST time Moree played in a final the Bulls charged to the premiership.

Gunnedah's Lincoln Stewart and Matt Roseby drive on this maul against Pirates earlier in the season. The Red Devils will be looking to their forwards to set a strong platform against Moree today. Photo: Samantha Newsam 120714SNA04

Gunnedah's Lincoln Stewart and Matt Roseby drive on this maul against Pirates earlier in the season. The Red Devils will be looking to their forwards to set a strong platform against Moree today. Photo: Samantha Newsam 120714SNA04

Today, they’ll be hoping to recapture some of that glory as they fight to keep the dream of back-to-back titles alive against a Gunnedah outfit that got the better of them last time they met at Weebolla.

The Bulls returned the favour two weeks ago in fairly comprehensive fashion, and will take a lot of momentum from that.

It was as good as they’d played since Pirates in the first game of the split tier competition.

That said, Bulls coach Damien Kelly isn’t putting too much stock in that last game.

He did afterwards, and still does, expect the Red Devils to be a lot better than they were that day.

A pass to hand here and there, and it could have been a lot closer.

“We can’t go in with the mindset that we beat them two weeks ago,” Kelly said.

That was part of their problem in the game the Red Devils won – they didn’t go in with the right attitude and got punished for it.

They’ve got the blueprint though.

“What we did well at Gunnedah we need to do well again, and better,” he said.

“We’ll be looking to move the ball around. We don’t want to get into an arm wrestle.”

“We’re very mindful they’ve got a big forward pack and they’ll be coming at us.”

“We need to play an uptempo game and wear them out.”

He felt they game would be won off the ball, and said they don’t want forwards “honey-potting”. 

They want to have them everywhere.

It will be a big day for a couple of the Bulls with number eight Matt Wannan playing his 100th game and fullback Heath Riggs his 200th.

The Red Devils know they are underdogs, but are happily taking that on board.

“We’re in a really lucky position, no-one in the whole wide world expects us to win,” Red Devils co-coach Tim Walsh said.

Even after knocking over Pirates last week.

The pressure is all on the Bulls, he said, and will be a catchcry for Barraba.

“We want to build some pressure,” Walsh said.

They probably haven’t done that well enough at times, and certainly haven’t been good at converting pressure into points.

“We need to make sure when we go somewhere we get points,” he said.

That will be the key for them – whether or not they can score points.

Until last week they had been struggling to do that.

“We need to score points,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t got it in us to defend for a really long period and not leak points.”

They will be looking to adopt a similar style to how they played against Pirates last week.

“We played a bit  more of a field position game.

“It worked pretty well,” he said.

“We probably need to keep the ball in front of our big guys.”

They don’t have the personnel to match the Bulls in a running game.

“If we play it a bit tighter, closer to the breakdown it gives our blokes a chance to get there,” Walsh said.

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