HOLDEN CUP-PRELIMINARY FINAL
Thursday 26 September 2013 1:00 PM
The Bulldogs Holden Cup side are 80 minutes away from what all Rugby League players train for, an opportunity to play in a Grand Final.
This week they take on a very talented football side, who on their day can produce some unbelievable and entertaining rugby league. This has certainly, be evident over the first two weeks of the finals series and was on show in the Dogs round nine loss to the Warriors in Wellington.
“We started well in this match and were in the game at half-time, but with the talent and the ability of their key players to take their chances, it proved to be the difference on that night,” said Adam Elliot.
They are a dangerous side the Warriors when allowed to play the footy they enjoy and with the forward pack they have, been given a huge amount of ball, like last weekend against the Roosters, when they had 61% of the possession they will hurt you. Controlling the New Zealand forwards will no doubt be a focus for the young Dogs side.
“We will need to control the ruck and limit the impact from their hooker Havili…if we fail to stop their go forward, it will be a tough night for us,” said Pat Templeman.
The Warriors have had to play the first two weeks of the finals series, were the Dogs had the luxury of having the week off after their one point win over Canberra and been given an extra week to prepare for this match can be crucial to your teams performance, because come game time on Friday night there are no excuses.
For the Dogs players it will be about focusing and nailing their own preparation and making sure they leave no stone un-turned.
“We need to focus on the little things and make sure we complete and build pressure…it’s about us,” said Moses Mbye.
It’s the time of the year every player wants to be a part of and there is no tomorrow if the result doesn’t go your way and if you speak to many players, they will say this game is, in some ways more important than next weeks, because you work so hard all year to get this far and to be given this opportunity, you need to make every play count, every decision count, empty the tank and go that extra mile for your mate if you want to be a part of the biggest stage.
“This time of year is what we all want to be a part of…the sun is out, it’s semi-final footy and been given the opportunity to play on the big stage is why we commit to each other for 10 months of the year,” said Coach Andy Patmore.
What an opportunity the Bulldogs Holden Cup side has this Friday night. It will take a committed 80 minute performance from all 17 players to get the result they want, but if this happens, how good is the reward?
Dogs by 10