BULLS BLAST BRETHREN OUT OF THE COMP
By Les Muir
SOUTHCITY’S grip on the Group Nine title tightened as the Bulls crushed Brothers 64-6 at Harris Park on Saturday.
Eleven months after winning the 2016 grand final, Southcity is showing ominous signs of going back-to-back.
And a week after Temora was humiliated by the Bulls, it was Brothers turn on Saturday.
Needing to spring a massive upset to have a hope of qualifying for the finals, the Brethren only briefly ever seemed the slightest chance of achieving their goal.
Southcity had tries on the board to Pani Manwatu and Nathan Rose before Aaron Wynne dragged one back for Brothers in the 20th minute.
Down only 12-6, the Brethren had a monentary shot at glory, but Southcity responded in absolutely breathtaking style.
By halftime, the Bulls had four tries and a 24-6 lead – and they just kept going.
In an embarrassing finish to the season, Brothers conceded seven unanswered tries in the second half to be completely wiped off the park.
Again the most dangerous centre in the premiership had a field day.
Backing up from five tries against Temora a week ago, Usaia O’Sullivan blasted on three more on Saturday to lead the onslaught.
Fittingly, milestone man Mitch Curran – he was playing his 200th game for Southcity – scored a try in the 64th minute and also got another precious reward.
To mark his great occasion, Curran was given the opportunity to convert Jordan Shepherd’s 79th minute try – and he did it with ease.
Southcity captain-coach Nick Skinner, who sat out the game with hamstring injury, was delighted with the performance his team on the threshold of the finals.
Skinner will be back for Southcity’s major semi-final against either Young or Gundagai at Harris Park on August 27.
Youthful lock Luke McBeath was again in slick form for the Bulls, but star prop Hayden Jeans and redoubtable hooker Pani Manawatu were also excellent.
SOUTHCITY 64 (U O’Sullivan 3, J Shepherd 2, P Manawatu, H Jeans, M Curran, T Hodge, M Bennett, N Rose tries; P Manwatu 9, M Curran goals) d BROTHERS 6 (A Wynne try; H Kirby goal) at Harris Park