The Country Bulls and U18’s travelled to Perth in July to take on Western Australia at nib Stadium.
The matches were played as the curtain raisers to the Round 19 NRL clash between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and New Zealand Warriors; with both teams granted access to the Sea Eagles captain’s run in the lead up to the game.
The U18’s assembled early in the week and flew to Perth before the Bulls, to take the opportunity to play a warm-up match against the U19’s North-West Reds from the Pilbara region. The Country U18’s proved too strong for their developing opponents winning 70-0, but showed great maturity by inviting the Reds to train with them in the lead-up to their next game. Their offer was taken up by the Pilbara side who appreciated the opportunity to see how the Country side prepared for games and were able to learn a few new training methods to take home to their local sides.
Second-rower Luke Gale (Western Rams) was named Man of the Match after his destructive efforts against the Reds, with other notable standouts being winger Sam Brammich (Bidgee Bulls) who scored four tries and half-back Max Burey (Bidgee Bulls) who kicked 11 goals from 12 attempts.
The U18’s were joined by the Country Bulls later in the week, with both sides coming together for a special jersey presentation which saw the corresponding positional players from each side present the other with their Country jerseys for their matches against Western Australia.
The U18’s displayed their obvious talent against Western Australia, running out convincing 60-0 winners and impressing the local crowd with the attacking football they played.
Winger Jesse Wighton (Bidgee Bulls) was named Man of the Match in a brilliant team display.
The Country Bulls lined up against an experienced Western Australian side, Captained by 2015 CRL Player of the Year and former Illawarra Captain Jarrod Thompson.
The match proved to be an extremely physical encounter, with two tries to Country Bulls fullback Chris Browne (Greater Southern) allowing the Bulls to take a slim lead into the half-time break.
The Bulls tried valiantly in the second-half to maintain their lead, but were overcome by a spirited Western Australian side who claimed a 22-12 victory.
Chris Browne was named Country Bulls Man of the Match after a strong performance which featured a brilliant solo try in the first-half which brought the appreciative crowd to its feet.
Country Rugby League would like to thank Coaches Jamy Forbes (Bulls) and Aaron Watts (U18’s) along with their players and staff for representing Country with distinction and helping to promote the game of Rugby League in Western Australia.