This could be the biggest year yet for Cork Bulls Rugby League FC since the club’s resumption in 2010 after a five-year hiatus.
Now within touching distance of provincial championship and All Ireland glory, the Bulls are determined to win their remaining three games of the season.
Club chairman, Mike Scanlon, who, with Mark O’Connell, a veteran of the club in its first incarnation in the 1990s, re-launched the Bulls when he relocated to the city in 2010, is confident that the Bulls have success in their grasp.
He also believes that 2012 will be a breakthrough year for rugby league in Cork and throughout the country, as it emerges from the shadow cast by the more popular rugby union code.
While there are inherent similarities between rugby league and rugby union, the league variety is regarded as much faster and free-flowing, Mike explains: “When you have possession, you must score within five tackles. If you don’t, the other team gets possession. The pace is must faster, without line-outs or the kicking game you see in rugby union, and very little dead time. There is much more running involved and it’s a very expansive game.”
Despite the differences between the disciplines, Mike contends that with rugby league being played during the rugby union off-season, the alternative code provides a golden opportunity for union players to maintain their fitness and skills, while helping to develop the standing of rugby league.
But that is in the future. For now, the Bulls, Bruff’s Country Cowboys and Limerick’s Treaty City Titans are the three teams most likely to contend the Munster final.
The Bulls face the Country Cowboys at home in Highfield RFC at 2pm this Saturday, and have another locally hosted match the following weekend against Ennis’s West Coast Warriors, before their final game of the 2012 Conference, away to Mike’s old club, the Treaty City Titans.
“Obviously we would really like to win all three games. At the moment, it’s looking like the Country Cowboys will top the league, with ourselves and Titans in second place. The top two teams will contest the Munster final, for a place in the All Ireland semi-finals, so all squads will be looking to win their remaining games,” Mike said.