SWFL 2023: Harvey Bulls keen to step up to Busselton challenge in return from bye

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Harvey's Andrew Haydon.
Camera IconHarvey's Andrew Haydon. Credit: Jon Gellweiler/JLG Photographics

As Busselton goes into the sixth round of the 2023 SWFL season the sole undefeated team, Harvey Bulls coach Mark Pink believes his team can step up to the plate.

Harvey Bulls are set to return from a bye to take on the Magpies at Harvey Oval on Saturday, in the first of what is set to be a stretch of challenging matches.

“We feel that if we play our best, we can match with any team,” Pink said.

“Obviously Busselton have really shown the way this year but I still believe there are seven teams in it at this stage.

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“Whilst we’re really concentrating on Busselton this week, who are a fantastic footy team, we can’t look any further than that because in the next few weeks we’ve got South Bunbury, we’ve got Donnybrook away so there’s some real challenges.”

While a dominant second-half performance helped the Bulls record a convincing 15.14 (104) to 7.5 (47) win over Eaton in their last outing, Pink said the Bulls were certainly pushed on several occasions throughout the season so far.

“The teams that we’ve played might be bottom of the ladder but they’ve actually had some really good patches,” he said.

“Maybe I’ve been a bit too critical of how we’ve played so far and not really concentrated on the opposition because Eaton, Collie and HBL’s ladder positions belie how they’ve played against us.

“They’ve all played a good half of footy against us.”

While the Bulls have been gelling well as a team in the season so far with a lot of camaraderie among the playing group, Pink said they remained without Sam Lewis for the next few weeks with a hamstring injury.

“With hamstring injuries it’s a bit tricky so we’ll err on the side of caution,” he said.

“Sam’s been fantastic for us — added some zip through the mids and the forward line.”

Busselton's Austin Styles takes an uncontested mark.
Camera IconBusselton's Austin Styles takes an uncontested mark. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Busselton league coach Daniel Delaney was pleased with the resilience displayed by his side during Sunday’s 11.12 (78) to 10.7 (67) win over Bunbury at Payne Park.

After his side scooted out to a 37-point lead early in the second term, the Magpies were forced to dig deep as the Bulldogs charged home.

In one of the most passionate three-quarter time addresses of the season so far, Delaney urged his players to look within themselves and find a way to go up another gear.

Post-game, the Magpies boss said both he and the players were keen to get another four premiership points away from home and were keen to replicate the effort against another quality outfit.

“I really respect the Harvey Bulls,” Delaney said. “They have a lot of very good players.”

The last time the Bulls and Magpies met was in the 2022 elimination final, when Harvey backed up a thrilling round 22 performance at Sir Stewart Bovell Park by winning 11.4 (70) to 7.7 (49).

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