McRobert thrilled with lead up as Bulls stampede Queanbeyan

CENTRAL West Blue Bulls coach Matt McRobert had plenty to smile about after their 12-tries-to-one trial victory over Queanbeyan Whites at Cowra on Saturday.

While he admits they would have preferred a tougher contest as the Country Championships draw near, McRobert believes they are building nicely.

"We're really happy with the cohesion in the squad," Mc Robert said.

"Once they got the hang of the referees' interpretations of the new rules at the breakdown, they did very well.

"We really warmed into the task as the game went on - the score blew out a bit, but if you do the simple things well and are patient then the score will mount."

Central West was quick to put first points on the board in the opening 20-minute quarter.

Although the Whites replied before the end of the term, Central West built on that advantage throughout and piled on five tries in the final stanza against a tiring Queanbeyan squad.

Still, McRobert insists there is room for improvement ahead of their Caldwell Cup campaign on March 29 and 30 at Mudgee.

"We would still like to play to our patterns a bit more and not getting too carried away with trying to be too fancy and too expansive too early," he said.

"We are very big on keeping the ball moving forward and giving our backs room to move and they did that today quite well, but there's still areas that we need to work on, particularly the breakdown.

"It did get better as the game went on, but we were running reserves on and off so we were quite fresh and Queanbeyan boys were doing it a bit hard."

"As we saw today they can all play the game - they are all great players - we are very fortunate that we have a good cross section of players from right around the zone" - Central West Blue Bulls coach MATT McROBERT

Selectors will cut five from the Blue Bulls squad that will face Penrith Emus at the foot of the mountains next week before a training camp at Parkes wraps up their preparations.

With only CSU's Jack Gerrard in doubt through injury after suffering a hamstring strain, McRobert said making cuts to a squad that had an embarrassment of riches would be difficult but necessary if they wanted to feature at the Country Championships.

"We'll make some selections today [Saturday] - we'll need to name 25 for Country week and we'll cut that down to 29 or 28 for next week and then make the final selections on the 15th," he said.

"We've become very attached to the boys - we've been together eight weeks now and they've all done very well and to see them play the way they did today and turn on a great spectacle for the people out here at Cowra is great, but we've got to say goodbye to some of them at this stage and that's just the nature of rep football.

"It's a hard part of the job and not one that we enjoy, but, at the same time, we're very determined to get our selections right and get the best squad for Mudgee.

"As we saw today they can all play the game - they are all great players - we are very fortunate that we have a good cross section of players from right around the zone, so we've got a lot of talent, but it's a matter of getting the right mix that's going to be our big dilemma.

"We'll have to pick a fairly large squad in terms of their physical size - they're going to have to be pretty big boys because that's what we're up against in Caldwell Cup.

"The guys have given us every reason to want to pick them, but being rep rugby we've got to let some of them go."

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