THE Chinchilla Bulldogs are on guard after the Miles Devils hinted at what may be to come for the rest of the rugby league season with a victorious win at the Terry Charles Memorial for the first time in four years.
The Devils went head to head with their biggest rivals, the Bulldogs, in the first round of the Terry Charles Memorial Cup in Taroom on Saturday, knocking them out with a 32-6 win, before facing off with the Taroom-Wandoan Battlers and wining the final 28-6.
Bulldogs A Grade coach Mark Lingard said the loss was a wake up call for the team who hadn't expected to lose and that it's put the team on guard for the rest of the season.
"It was definitely a bit of surprise, we kind of expected to do well - that's who we are being Chinchilla and the Bulldogs,” he said.
"We were a bit underdone, we had a few boys who were new and hadn't been to training for a little while, so it was a bit of a tough day. And at the same time Miles played some really good footy, they deserved to win, so I'm not taking anything away from them.”
A Grade coach Jamie Kerwick said after many seasons with very few victories, it was nice for the team to kick off this season with a win.
He said a strong off season and tough pre-season training regime had the team in good form with some past players hitting the field on the weekend to strengthen the team and help take back the cup.
"We had a few old boys come out to help out and we had a few boys debuting for Miles on the weekend who played really well. ,”
"I knew we'd go pretty well but not as well as we did. It's been a long time since we won a game against Chinchilla but only winning once doesn't mean much, but it was a nice way to start the year and it would be nice to keep that consistency throughout the season.”
Lingard said the Bulldogs still have a lot of work to do but that Miles could be the team's biggest challenge when the season kicks off after the Easter break.
"I think Miles will give the whole competition a real shake up this season, especially if they can hold that squad all year. But in saying that, I think we have a lot of improvement to go yet and a lot more training...those games between Chinchilla and Miles are always a bit of a thing, it's always interesting and hard fought,” he said.
Kerwick said while there was some stand-out players at the weekend, on the whole the Devil's played well and had a strong defence.
"Across the board it was a good team performance and it was nice to see Miles step up and win for a change, so hopefully we can keep it up throughout the year,” he said.
Despite his team's win at the weekend and with a few more weeks of training before officially kicking off the season, Kerwick isn't underestimating the potential force of the Bulldog's bite.
"They've been dominate for along time now and I have no doubt they will bigger, better and stronger as we come into the season,” he said.
"I think we play them in round two and we won't have the same side. They didn't have the same high ranking players on the weekend as usual. So I think they will turn up with a lot better team from Chinchilla when we play them and we will have to step our game up if we're going to have a chance to get the wood up on them. They are always good games of hard football when we play Chinchilla.”
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