BATHURST Bulldogs have been an unstoppable force so far this Blowes Clothing Cup season but they’re still craving one thing above all – consistency.
The Bulldogs know they will need that this Saturday when they travel to face the fourth-placed Parkes Boars.
Despite both Bulldogs and Boars coming into the match off wins, both clubs are craving vastly improved performances from those games.
Bulldogs overcame a lacklustre first half to see off the Dubbo Kangaroos 30-15. Boars’ problems came in the opposite end of the game, surviving a strong CSU second half assault to see off the students 33-22.
The Bulldogs come into the game with five straight wins but co-coach Nathan Pearce knows there’s plenty of room for improvement.
“We still haven’t been able to string together a consistent 80 minute performance but that second half showed what we were capable of,” he said.
“A few said that Dubbo fell off in that second half but I really don’t think we gave the opportunity to do anything.
“There wasn’t really one factor that led to those problems we had. It was more like five or six little ones, and to turn that around can be quite a challenge. The boys have bought into those changes well this week.
“In the first half of last Saturday’s game our ball carrier wasn’t carrying properly and our support wasn’t there for the clean out. We were rarely going three phases before giving it away or coming to a stop. We just couldn’t put together our patterns of play.”
Parkes have well and truly overcome their previous season’s struggles, stringing together three wins from their first five matches.
Pearce said his side must replicate the second half of their game against the ‘Roos if they’re to get by the Boars.
“We’ve got a reasonable idea of what to expect from them. Every time we’ve gone over to play them there it’s been a confronting experience,” he said.
“They’ve got a big forward pack, a great halfback and some very opportunistic backs.”
Izaak Breen is still one week away from returning to the Bulldogs side as he nurses an injury.
The Bulldogs are making a couple of changes in their forwards, while the backs remain unchanged from the ‘Roos clash.
Riley Hanrahan moves up the forward pack into lock while Alex Weal takes the vacant spot at flanker.