The Cootamundra Bulldogs under-16s will take on South City in Albury on Saturday. Image – Cootamundra Bulldogs.

The Cootamundra Bulldogsunder-16s will fight for their season in Albury on Saturday when taking on the South City Bulls in their Group 9 minor semi-final at Greenfield Park.

The Bulldogs, who finished third on the Sullivan Cup ladder, ventured to Wagga on Saturday and went down to the Kangaroos 14-12 in their qualifying final at McDonald’s Park.

Cootamundra entered the match a month between games and was understandably a little scratchy, but they had their chances to win the contest, which pleased coach Jono Rumble.

“It was a little bit of a concern, being a month between games, and the last time we played them, it was a similar situation,” Rumblesaid.

“To their credit, the boys turned it around and rocked up ready to play, and the game could have gone either way.

“A young but eager group will undoubtedly improve off the effort as they prepare to take on the Bulls on the border.

“They’ll lift off the back of that effort,” Rumble said.

“In the sheds after the game, the boys were confident and happy with how they performed even though they didn’t get the win.

“They learned a lot from it and will be better for the run.”Rumble and his team weren’t taking anything for granted, either. Both times they have played the Bulls in 2023, it’s been close, with the Bulldogs winning 16-12 in Round Five and 16-14 in Round14.

“I’ve said to the boys all year, we can’t take any team lightly,” Rumble said.

“They’ll be up for it, and it will be a tough game, and our previous two games we played against South City, there were only two or four points in it.”

“Plus, they’ll have a fair amount of confidence after that big win over Junee, and they’ll be keen to keep progressing.

“In terms of trekking to Albury, Rumble wasn’t too worried.

“The way I see it, it’s a neutral ground, and both teams have got to travel and turn up and do their best to get the win,” Rumble said.

“We have to be mentally tough and ready to get the job done, and from what I’m hearing, many parents are travelling down on Friday, so that way, everyone wakes up fresh for the game.

“This week will be a memorable one for the young side, and Rumble said an excellent group of kids would be ready and raring-come Saturday morning.”They have matured quite a bit, and they are knuckling down and playing good footy, and that’s what I get a kick out of; they are just a good bunch of kids,” Rumble said.

“Everyone is buying into it, everyone’s focused, and we have been training good, and I don’t really have to tell them what to do, and they get themselves organised, do their drills, and get into a bit of ball work, which is really good.

”If the Bulldogs win their game on Saturday, they’ll progress to the Sullivan Cup preliminary final, where they’ll play either Young or Kangaroos. The match will kick off at 9.30 am.

For those that cannot make the game, Group 9 will be livestreaming all matches on the day.