The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs showed coach Ron Griffiths enough in their 22-12 loss to Lakes United that they are still on the right bus for success.
Some days the rub of the game is not going to go with you and Sunday’s first half was one of those for the Bulldogs who found themselves trailing 22-6 at half-time.
“Probably things didn’t go our way in the first half. We had a try disallowed and out of that Mitch Cullen was sent to the bin and they then scored at the other end.
“It was a 12-point turnaround for us.
“The bounce of the ball didn’t go our way in the first half but full credit to our guys to be able to win the second half, although it was only six-nil.
“To go in at 22-6 down against a side that’s leading the comp and rally and come out compete really well is really pleasing.”
Griffiths said Cullen was sin-binned for throwing a retaliatory punch after being his late after passing the ball.
Griffiths said he believed while it didn’t look good Cullen had tried to throw the player off him and had swung an arm in the process.
“As the play unfolded, Mitch was the guy who delivered the first pass in that play,” he said.
“He was hit late by their hooker and Mitch grabbed him and tried to throw him off. He threw his arm around at the same time and they’ve ruled that to be a punch.
“The action didn’t look great but it wasn’t intended as a retaliatory punch, but they’ve ruled it was and the try was disallowed.”
Griffiths said the players had regrouped incredibly well after their loss to Lakes with a week of upbeat training and a positive attitude.
“It probably shows where we’re at and where our mindset is that we are heading in the right direction as a club,” he said.
“We use an analogy of three buses. The red bus is you go to work you don’t want to be there. The green bus is you turn up and just do what’s required and the blue bus is you go above and beyond.
“The boys are on the blue bus and want to stay on it.”
The blue bus driver was again Brady Hammond, who Griffiths said had an exception game.
“He keeps on giving you everything,” Griffiths said. “Nangarra Barker was really good for us. He and Ben Edwards were really good for us.”
Maitland junior Barker had been playing with Asquith in the Ron Massey Cup in Sydney but signed with the Bulldogs after deciding to return home.
Kurri host Central Newcastle on Saturday.