A lack of intensity from Shepparton was almost the downfall of Bulls when they drew with Border Army on Saturday.By Damen Francis
Border Army gave Shepparton Bulls a timely warning on the eve of their maiden VicRugby finals campaign.
The third division minor premier and raging premiership favourite was spared a shock final-round defeat to the Albury-based club on Saturday, by the wayward boot of Border Army’s kicker.
A try in the final minute put the home side level at 19-19, but the attempted conversion drifted wide, sparing the Bulls’ blushes.
The Bulls finished the home-and-away season undefeated, with their only three losses for the year arriving in the metropolitan second division A-grade competition.
Bulls coach Warren Johnston blasted his team’s ‘‘terrible attitude’’ and complacency.
‘‘There was no intensity and we didn’t want to get the ball,’’ Johnston said.
‘‘Maybe because it was a match for charity we were a bit relaxed and we had nothing to play for, but if we take that attitude into next week, we’ll be gone in the first week of finals and our season will be wasted.
‘‘The ground was also an absolute bog and Border Army had a lot of light and fit fellas, where as we have quite a few big boys, but if we had the right attitude it wouldn’t have been a problem.’’
Bizarrely, it all started so well.
Kamu Titimaea opened the scoring inside a minute to set the visitors away, but they allowed Border Army to get a foot hold in the game and nearly paid the price.
Tries to Malo Tuaopepe and Lee-Roy Huthmann-Grace had the Bulls back in front late on, before the Army’s late chance to pinch the points.
Usual half-back Filipo Tuaopepe was a rare bright spot with his performance on a flank, while reserve lock Haydn Oak made the most of a starting place.
The match raised $5000 for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
The Bulls now turn their attention to Saturday’s semi-final, when they host Ballarat at Vibert Reserve.
Bulldozing forwards Vaka Hafoka and Ben Moananu return to boost the Bulls, who have beaten Ballarat on both occasions this season, including a 62-8 win three weeks ago.
Johnston said it was an exciting time for the club.
‘‘It’s amazing we’ve done so well in our first season, so hopefully we can get all our supporters along again this weekend,’’ he said.
Saturday’s semi-final kicks of at 1.30
A car was stolen from the Chemist Warehouse carpark in Shepparton on Saturday while the owner was shopping for Christmas presents.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
'Suttonsville', a minitature version of Echuca-Moama made out of gingerbread at Moama's Sutton Bakery, has a growing number of admirers.
Three Goornong Fire Brigade firefighters recently completed a CFA course on safety surrounding urban firefighting and using breathing apparatuses.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
A Korean company has a proposal with the NSW Government to built a $90 million ethanol plant in Deniliquin.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
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