BATHURST Bulldogs coach Jordan Bull believes defence will be the critical factor on Saturday as his side aims for a third consecutive Blowes Clothing Cup colts premiership.
Bulldogs will square off with Orange City at Endeavour Oval in the decider – the contest pitting together two teams who scored 1,429 points between them during the regular season.
The Bulldogs side averaged 42 points per game on the way to the minor premiership, while the Lions averaged a tick over 37 each Saturday.
“We really need to muscle up up front, our forward pack really needs to stand up. They’ve got some very good forwards, very good loose breakaways, and a classy back line,” Bull said of City.
“I think defence is going to be the key for the weekend really. I think with strong defence, we’ll win the game.”
While Orange City became the first side to beat Bulldogs in over two years when the pair met in round three, Bull’s side won the return fixture and major semi-final against the Lions to be first into the grand final.
It gives his side, who beat Dubbo Kangaroos in 2015 and CSU last season, the chance to make it a premiership treble.
For some of Bull’s players, it will be their second grand final appearance in colts and he feels their experience is an important asset.
“Those guys that were there last year will hopefully settle the nerves of the younger boys, so hopefully it pays off. It’s definitely handy having those boys that were along for it last year and it should help keep the guys a lot calmer,” he said.
While Bulldogs began their preparation for the grand final two weeks ago, City had to survive a close preliminary final against the ’Roos, winning 27-26.
“We trained really well, we had a really good, hard hit-out last Thursday and all the boys turned up with the right attitude. Hopefully the boys take that same attitude and intensity we have had at training into the game on Saturday,” Bull said.
“Last week City had a few out and Dubbo had a few out too. Dubbo had their chances, they only lost by one and had a kick which hit the uprights – it came right down to the wire and I’m expecting the same thing this weekend.
“We are definitely going to have to be on our game to beat these guys.
“I think my boys are ready to go, it should be a good game so I can’t wait.
“It’s been a very successful year for the club so far, having four our of the five grades make a grand final is a good achievement for the club.”