BULLS TO WIN: COACH POLL VERDICT
By Les Muir
THE men closest to the game have jumped on the Southcity bandwagon before the historic twilight grand final at McDonald’s Park on Saturday.
In a resounding result, the coaches who have missed out this time around have thrown their support behind Southcity to make it two straight premiership successes.
Of the eight coaches polled, five tipped the Bulls to triumph again, while three went for Gundagai.
Outgoing Cootamundra coach Warren Lloyd is adamant Southcity have the firepower to shoot down the Tigers for the second time in as many years.
While Grant Boyd (Temora), James Woolford (Young), Terry Westblade (Brothers) and Robbie Byatt (Tumbarumba) think Southcity will only edge out their fierce rivals, Lloyd reckons the Bulls can get up by 10 points.
“They’ve been too good all year and they never have a bad game,” Lloyd said on Wednesday.
Significantly, Boyd and Byatt rate Southcity centre Usaia O’Sullivan as the player to lead the Bulls home.
Going against the trend, Jarrad Teka (Tumut), Matt Hands (Junee) and Ben Jeffery (Kangaroos) are squarely in the Gundagai corner for Saturday.
Teka says the Tigers have “momentum”, but Hands believes the loss of champion halfback Kyle McCarthy will bring about the Bulls downfall.
WHAT THE COACHES SAY:
GRANT BOYD (Temora)
“Southcity by 4. Their backs are too good. The Gundagai forwards are as good if not better (than Southcity), but their backs aren’t as good. (Usaia) O’Sullivan is a terrific player.
JAMES WOOLFORD (Young)
“I’m tipping Southcity by 4 in a tight one. I think they’re fresh and have had a good run to get to the weekend. Gundagai have had to do it the hard way with a lot of tougher games. The Gundagai forwards have to run over Southcity if they’re to be a chance. Southcity backs have a lot of strike.”
JARRAD TEKA (Tumut)
“I’m backing Gundagai by 4. They’ve been in good form and have some momentum after defeating us on the weekend. And I think Southcity coming in with one game in a month could be at a disadvantage.”
TERRY WESTBLADE (Brothers)
“I’ll go with Southcity. I haven’t seen Gundagai play but I’ve seen Southcity twice and they’re very methodical.”
MATT HANDS (Junee)
“There have been disruptions to both sides. Kyle McCarthy is a big loss for Southcity and Gundagai have a couple of niggling injuries. I think it will be a lot closer than I thought originally. As for a prediction, I’m honestly not sure. Let’s say Gundagai by two points.”
WARREN LLOYD (Cootamundra)
“Southcity by 10. They’ve been too good all year and they never have a bad game. Gundagai could push them if they start well, but I think Southcity will get away with it.”
ROBBIE BYATT (Tumbarumba)
“Southcity to win by 2. And O’Sullivan best on ground.”
BEN JEFFERY (Kangaroos)
“Gundi by 2.”
JOSH CALE (Albury)