They say it’s hard to climb the mountain once but it’s even harder doing it twice and that’s exactly what the Central West Blue Bullettes have done with a resounding 35-15 win over Hunter at Tamworth in the Thompson Cup last weekend. The win backs up the crown NSW Country Rugby Championship trophy the side took home in 2019.
Unlike 2019, the Bullettes did it the hard way. Difficult conditions married with a sea-son impacted by COVID meant that combinations were a little awry early.
But it didn’t take long for the title fancies to find their rhythm.
Forbes duo Amy Townsend and Paulini Lawanikula figured prominently for the Bullettes with the latter playing a hand in the semi-final win over fellow contenders Central Coast 27-5. The tournament continues what has been a strong season for Lawanikula who’s husband Rusi along with Miniti Tonga, Tom Macleay, Mahe Fangupo and Charlie French all lined up from the Forbes Platypi club for Blue Bulls who also had success at the carnival.
Despite the short campaign, the Bullettes stuck to the task and everyone clicked when it mattered.
Bathurst Bulldogs player and captain Mel Waterford was elated with how the unit came together with little notice and the spectre of COVID hanging over the tournament.
“All the players from 1 to 25 played their part and put together excellent performances,” she said.
“Hunter kept us on our toes and sharp all game,” Mel said.
After an excitable start at a frenetic pace, it was Central West who settled first against Hunter, playing the majority of the match in their half and not allowing them into the game. Dominant forward running and some sublime skills from the outside backs eventually proved too much for the Hunter side as Central West ran out 20 point winners in front of a decent Peel Valley crowd.