SKINNER PRAISES BULLDOGS AFTER 50-6 HIDING
By Les Muir
REFUSING to put the boot in, Southcity captain-coach Nick Skinner was prepared to give Cootamundra a gallantry award after the Bulls 10-try rampage at Harris Park on Saturday.
With Skinner in absolute supreme form, Southcity crushed Cootamundra 50-6 to stay on top of the Group Nine table.
Coming off the general bye, the Bulls led 24-6 at halftime and scored five unanswered tries in the second half to send the Bulldogs packing.
Amid the carnage, however, Skinner did not try to rub salt into the wounds – even taking time to give the losers an endorsement.
“I think they’re building,” said Skinner, who spoke to Cootamundra skipper Aaron Byrne for several minutes before leaving the field.
“They played with a lot of spirit ... they definitely didn’t roll over.
“It was a tough game.”
Virtually at full strength for the first time this year, Southcity showed glimpses of dazzling brilliance to quickly end Cootamundra’s reign as a giant-killer.
Following on from their shock 28-26 victory over Kangaroos a fortnight ago, the Bulldogs toiled and tried hard but were outgunned.
For Skinner, the overwhelming success was another step forward for his team.
“I thought defensively we were a lot better, but attacking wise there were still a few errors at times,” Skinner said.
“Generally I’m pretty happy. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
Significantly, Southcity seems sure to get a more realistic test of their progress when they play Young at Alfred Oval next Sunday.
"Young over there will be tough as well,” Skinner said.
“We’ll know how we’re going.”
Back into the team for the first time in three weeks, Skinner was clearly the best forward on the paddock, while Southcity centre Usaia O’Sullivan was the outstanding back.
Skinner’s ferocious running and destructive defence was a beacon for the rest of the team and O’Sullivan almost shone as brightly.
O’Sullivan scored two tries, including a sensational effort in the 29th minute in which he despatched two defenders, and also gave the final pass for a try for debutante Jordan Little (16th minute).
Little only touched the ball a couple of times but finished with two tries, sharing the limelight with his more distinguished teammates.
Cootamundra coach Warren Lloyd took the heavy defeat on the chin.
“At the end of the day it’s disappointing,” Lloyd said.
“Southcity are a top side and they’ll be there again this year.
“They probably let the foot off a bit, but, like I said, our boys stuck in, and I’m happy with that.
“We’ll reassess and go again next week.
“It doesn’t get any easier ... we’ve got the Tigers (Gundagai) next week.”
As Cootamundra bravely struggles to stay competitive each week, Lloyd said luck often deserted the team.
“The referee doesn’t drop the ball or miss tackles, but we just need a few 50-50 calls to go our way,” Lloyd said.
“I’m not asking for help.”
SOUTHCITY 50 (J Little 2, T Besgrove 2, U O’Sullivan 2, J Shepherd 2, N Skinner, J Dooley tries; K McCarthy 3, P Manawatu 2 goals) d COOTAMUNDRA 6 (J Smith try; M Forsyth goal) at Harris Park. Scrums: 1-7. Penalties: 8-4. Referee: Sean Skeers