It was a quiet week for the Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs, with both of the club’s sides enjoying the bye.
The Hotdogs league-tag outfit had been due to take on Tathra on Sunday, but the Sea Eaglettes were forced to withdraw from the competition a fortnight ago after their third forfeit of the season.
With another bye coming up this round, coach Bernie Maher says the girls have been taking the opportunity to work hard on training drills.
“We’re going up to Moruya in a couple of weeks, so we’ve just been training and getting ready for that,” he said.
“The girls are looking forward to it, and if we put it together against Moruya we’re a chance of making it [to the finals].”
Maher says a finals berth would be a fantastic achievement for a relatively new squad, after several Bombala-based members of last year’s outfit took up opportunities with the Cooma Fillies.
After conceding 104 points without registering a score of their own in their first four outings, the Hotdogs have rebounded record wins over Tathra and Narooma, and Maher says he couldn’t be prouder of their spirit and attitude to the game.
“They’ve been beaten 60-0 and things like that, but they’ve always got a smile on their faces and they really enjoy the game,” he said.
“They’ve improved so much; it’s a really young group and some of the girls were very new to the game and didn’t know much about it.
“But now when they’re running a pattern at training and they make a mistake, they go back and start again.
“They don’t need me to tell them, and that says a lot about how far they’ve come.
“Even at some of the games, the girls have been complimented by teams like the Cooma Fillies about their improvement, and that means a lot to them.”
Maher said developing team cohesion isn’t always an easy task, with a number of the squad being unable to make certain training sessions and games due to work commitments.
But he says the tight-knit nature of the group makes things much easier.
“They’re all great mates, and they all enjoy being around each other.
“It’s going to be really tough to do the presentation this year and decide on awards, because they’ve all been so good.
“But as I did [at the club reunion] last week, I’ll put together a slideshow of the season and make sure everyone gets a mention and is congratulated on a great season.”
Meanwhile, the top-of-the table under 18s Bullpups will tackle the undefeated Bega Roosters on Sunday, with a win vital as they look to maintain their position in second place.
The Bullpups are currently ahead of Cooma on percentages, but the Stallions face the winless Moruya Sharks this round in a match they’re expected to win comfortably.