Sunbury look to bounce back in big week of First Grade Action
By Tate Spiteri
The Sunbury Tigers and Waverley Oakleigh Panthers will both be out to pick up their first wins of the season when they meet at Langama Park this weekend.
Both teams have had tough starts to the season with Waverley-Oakleigh losing to the competitions heavy weights and last years Grand Finalists Werribee and Casey. Sunbury have also lost to only undefeated teams, Werribee (18-0) and the Northern Thunder (30-28).
Sunbury will be bullish about their chances this week, having not played badly despite their winless start.
The Tigers were unlucky in their opening round fixture, a 2-point loss to the Northern Thunder and they also put in a strong midweek showing in an ISC 9s game against Casey.
The Tigers’ Dale Bullas backed this belief saying that despite the early season losses, his team had started the season “really well”.
“We’ve started pretty much fresh this year, we’re just trying to get that gel together”, he told the NRL Victoria website.
“We’ll be pretty dangerous when we get that sorted” he said.
The Tigers used their ANZAC Day ISC 9s game as an important experimental opportunity leading into the rest of the First Grade season.
“We’ll give our younger guys a run and see how they go, give them a bit of confidence and stuff like that, its good to be able to mix it up,” he said.
Bullas earmarked youngsters Uala Junior Salia, Anzac Leava and Gio Kubik as ones to step up this season.
Waverley-Oakleigh will have to look out for the inform Leava who scored a try for the Tigers on Tuesday at AAMI Park.
Also this week Altona will be out to end the Northern Thunder’s undefeated start to the season when they lock horns at Bruce Comben Reserve.
The Roosters bounced back from a heavy round 1 loss to Casey with a thumping 68-12 win over the North West Wolves. The contrasting opening round results have made the Roosters a hard team to get a read of so this weekends clash against the Thunder shapes as an interesting one.
The Thunder will be full of confidence after a thrilling 30-28 win over Sunbury and emphatic 34-14 win over last years Preliminary Finalists, the Doveton Steelers, so the Roosters will have to be at their absolute best to make it back-to-back wins.
In the rounds other matches the North West Wolves are likely to again find the going tough as they meet Casey at Casey Fields while the Doveton Steelers host Werribee.