Round 1 of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup saw the U18 Wide Bay Bulls v Mustangs.
Round 1 of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup saw the U18 Wide Bay Bulls v Mustangs.

PHOTOS: Wide Bay teens sporting Bulls jersey for first time in years

The Wide Bay Bulls colours are back on the footy field and in three different competitions.

The Bulls are represented in Queensland Rugby League’s Harvey Norman U19s, Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup and the Cyril Connell Challenge.

Bundaberg Junior Rugby League chairman and a director of the Wide Bay Bulls Wayne Bender said it was great to have the region represented this year.

He said this was their first year back in this competition in about 10 years.

“Now that we’re here, we’re into our rebuilding program so all our sides are all new to this,” he said.

“The best part of it is it’s going to make it better for football and this program in years to come around us, Fraser Coast and South Burnett – which comes under the Wide Bay Bulls.”

Round 1 of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup saw the U18 Wide Bay Bulls v Mustangs.
Round 1 of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup saw the U18 Wide Bay Bulls v Mustangs.

Bender said they were going well and while the teams weren’t doing as well as they’d like, the squads were new and building.

He said the region was blessed to host several games in Round 1 last weekend.

Having played the game, coached it and held the role of club president and the Bundaberg Junior Rugby League chairman for five years, Bender said it was important that everyone had the chance to take the field.

“My parents used to take five of us to training every weekend and we lived out of town,” he said.

“We used to have to travel a long way for football … I just think every kids needs the chance to play the game.”

On Saturday, March 6, the U18 Bulls lost to the Mustangs, 6–50 and the U16 Bulls also lost to the Mustangs 0–44.

The U19 Bulls team had a bye last week.

The Wide Bay Bulls U18’s coach Robert Boon said the team needed to learn what higher level footy was all about and this cup would be beneficial to them.

He said while it wasn’t the score they would like, in the final 15 minutes of the game the Bulls held the ball better and improved in their body language.

“We set a couple of team goals, one in attack and defence, I wouldn’t say we met either of those but there were signs of growing towards it,” he said.

“While we didn’t achieve what we set out to do, there’s some positive signs for us.”

He said their focus for defence in the coming matches was to have a tighter ruck and work hard for the marker.

For attack, Boon said they had to hold the ball and get to their kicks.

Boon believes with the first round now done and dusted, the team would be better this weekend.

On March 13, the U19 and U18 Bulls teams will take on the Falcons on the Sunshine Coast.

The U16s have a bye.

For more information on the draw, click here.

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