The Tumut Bulls 2022 Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) campaign will be defined in the next four weeks.
The Bulls, who sit in sixth place on the SIRU first-grade ladder, are two games off a fourth-placed Ag College and fifth-placed Albury-Wodonga Steamers as they entered the second half of the season.
Tumut take on the second-placed Waratahs at Conolly Park on Saturday in round 10, before playing Ag College at Beres Ellwood Oval in round 11.
Then back at home in rounds 12 and 13 of the competition, Tumut host the third-placed Griffith Blacks before rounding out a tough month of rugby against Albury Wodonga Steamers.
Bulls coach Ray Wells wasn’t playing down the significance of this next month either, with Tumut still working hard to finish inside the SIRU top four.
“It’s massively important to build some momentum and to get the wins to start chasing the other teams in that top four,” Wells said.
“Realistically we need to win this four-game stretch, which I think we can do.”
Despite dominating large chunks of the contest, Tumut lost to the Waratahs 29-21 back in round one, but Wells believes his Bulls will enter Saturday’s re-match in much better order, with the likes of Tate O’Donovan, Jack Ketteringham, Connor Swann and Vincent Wise expected to make a big difference.
“We are definitely in a better position tactically, technically and physically,” Wells said.
“It was a game we should have won in round one. It was a game of two halves and we were dominant in one half, but in the second half we didn’t perform and let them in.”
Tumut are fresh off a humbling 61-12 round nine loss to Wagga City and Wells said his playing group had been working hard ahead of Saturday’s match.
“I think the biggest focus has been the game plan, and to tweak it a bit,” Wells said.
“It was a tough loss but we will learn from it and be better for it.”
There is a full complement of SIRU first-grade games on offer on Saturday, with Albury-Wodonga hosting Griffith at Murrayfield Oval, while Ag College host Wagga City at Beres Ellwood Oval.
At Conolly Park, Tumut will have first-grade and second-grade in action against Waratahs in what should be a big day of rugby.
SIRU first-grade standings: City 32, Waratahs 25, Griffith 24, Ag College 18, Albury-Wodonga 18, Tumut 11, Reddies 10
SIRU second-grade standings: Ag College 35, Hay 32, City 30, Griffith 26, Reddies 24, Tumut 10, Waratahs 10, Albury-Wodonga 9, Leeton 1.