Bright future for Bullettes

The Tumut Bullettes made a triumphant return on Saturday.

It might have only been an exhibition match, but the Tumut Bullettes made a triumphant return to the paddock on Saturday when hosting the CSU Reddies at Jarrah Oval. 

The top of the table Reddies came to town with stars such as ACT Brumby Biola Dawa and former Bullette Teisha Freeman, and the Wagga side may have won the game convincingly, but it didn’t deter an enthusiastic Tumut side from enjoying a game of rugby on what was the Tumut Bulls Ladies Day. 

Youngster Jess Howarth was good for Tumut, and she enjoyed the experience of making her Bullettes debut. 

“That was my first game with the women and it was a good experience,” Howarth said.

“I hadn’t played in a while and it was good to get on the field and play with some lovely people. 

“Plus, they were really nice and welcoming and it was a great day, and lots of people were watching and cheering us on, which was nice.”

The exhibition match will hopefully lead into a second game against Wagga City in round 18 of the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition as the Bullettes build toward a fulltime return to the 2023 competition.

Howarth believes it is important that Tumut has a women’s rugby team, especially for the younger players coming through the Tumut Bullants ranks. 

“I think it is good they are getting a team back together again,” Howarth said.

“They have a young team (under 13s) in the Bullants, which is good and because they have that women’s team, these girls can now progress and play women’s rugby if they want to.”

Tumut Bulls President David West shared the same sentiment as Howarth, and he was pleased to see his Bullettes back on the paddock. 

“I’m full of praise for the girls and really couldn’t be any prouder,” West said.

“For a team to fold in February, then to have so many players attend training and play on the weekend, and then to put up a very good effort, not just on the field but off the field too; it is brilliant.”

Sara-Jane Sala has been leading the Bullettes rebuild, but she has a good team around her and West praised the leadership group for getting a side together. 

“The three main players driving it are Sara, Brodie (Palmer) and Toppo (Monique Toppin),” West said. 

“They have done a great job, and you only have to look at the youth they have brought into the team and the players that were there on the weekend.

“Pani (Keefe-Horo) and Jess (Howarth) played and they were two of the best out there, and if these girls can stay together, we have a big future and a tremendous platform to work on.” 

The Bullettes will hope to continue their rebuild next weekend in Wagga when playing City in what will be their final game of the 2022 season before readying for the 2023 preseason and off-season comps.

Photos: The Tumut Bullettes made their long-awaited return to the rugby paddock on Saturday when taking on CSU Reddies at Jarrah Oval in an exhibition match.

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