At a time when the Bulldogs have created strong regional pathways with the North Coast and Greater Northern areas (including the recent affiliation with the Toowoomba based Western Clydesdales), the results have been immediate with the North Coast Bulldogs 18’s reaching the Grand Final of the Laurie Daley Cup.
The team defeated Macarthur Wests Tigers, 34-16, in the semi final and will now play Illawarra South Coast at Woy Woy this coming Sunday (April 3rd).
This makes for consecutive seasons that a Bulldogs Regional Pathways area has been represented in a NSWCRL Grand Final, with Greater Northern providing the runners-up last season.
The Bulldogs have placed a major emphasis on developing their affiliated Regional areas, in addition to the local Junior League in Sydney, with a view towards strengthening the recruitment, development and retention of players through the club’s own Pathways system.
The link between these Regional areas and the Bulldogs footprint in the local Junior League, saw the North Coast Bulldogs 18’s hosted at Belmore last Saturday on their way through to Wollongong. The visit was a real boost for players and coaches, who enjoyed the visit to Belmore, and vowed to use the experience as inspiration moving into the big game on Sunday.
The North Coast Bulldogs play in the Country Rugby League Regions of Group 2 and Group 3 (Bulahdelah in the South through to Grafton in the North).
In other news, the Greater Northern Tigers (Under 16’s) where unlucky to go down 22-16 to the Macarthur West Tigers in the Andrew Johns Cup semi-final in Wollongong on Sunday.