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Zac Woolford article

Discussion in 'Bulldogs Discussion Archive' started by Mitch Connor, Aug 30, 2017.

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  1. Mitch Connor

    Mitch Connor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You’ve heard about the Clearys – now it’s the Woolfords’ turn to ignite Rugby League’s next father-son rivalry.

    One of the stories of 2017 featured at NRL level when Ivan Cleary, appointed Wests Tigers coach in March, faced off against son Nathan’s Panthers side in Round 22. On the eve of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Finals Series – and Father’s Day – however, it’s the Woolford household which could be faced with the same scenario.

    The 2017 season saw a fork in the road for the Woolfords; father Simon, a veteran of 234 matches for the Raiders, left his post as coach of the Queanbeyan Blues to take up the role at the Knights, while son Zac graduated from the Raiders’ Holden Cup side to land an Intrust Super Premiership NSW position at the Bulldogs.

    The move from the nation’s capital proved successful for both father and son at their respective clubs, but the season reached an interesting point in Round 18 when they were forced to face off for the first time.

    “It wasn’t great around the house for the week!” Simon Woolford tells NSWRL.com.au. “The wife was obviously looking after Zac and it was quite tense.

    “It was good to get a win, we obviously played against them earlier in the year and he didn’t play so it was weird coaching against him (in Round 18).”

    The Knights enjoyed an upset victory on that occasion but with Newcastle finishing seventh and Canterbury-Bankstown fourth, there is some possibility that the sides could meet again in a preliminary or the grand final. If that were to eventuate, Woolford says, the household banter would reach new levels.

    “He doesn’t live at home but the wife makes it quite clear that she’s on Zac’s side when we come up against each other,” Woolford adds. “There’s quite a bit of banter around the house so it’s going to be interesting if we come up against him in a knockout semi-final, that’s for sure.”

    In Zac’s case, the progression from an outstanding 2016 – he was nominated for the Holden Cup Player of the Year award and also represented the NSW Under-20s – to an NRL career was never going to happen overnight. Zac has been stuck behind the likes of Michael Lichaa and Craig Garvey at Belmore but with the pair moving on in 2018, it will be another step in his development.

    “He’s had a tough year; he’s sharing the hooking duties at the ’Dogs,” Woolford says. “Coming off the bench playing limited time is not really his game. Hopefully [with] the year against the men – and he gets to play in some semi-finals – he’ll get a lot out of that.

    “I think the plan at the ’Dogs was always to have this year in (Intrust Super Premiership NSW), play against men, get another pre-season. He’s a good trainer, he’s got a good attitude so he’ll have another full pre-season and hopefully Des (Hasler) will give him his opportunity next year.”

    Zac’s coach Steve Georgallis echoed the sentiments that 2018 will be a major stepping stone, knowing that patience was key with such a young, raw talent.

    “Sometimes you can be too quick to get to first grade or too quick to not allow yourself to learn the game,” Georgallis says. “He’s learning about the contact and the physical part of the game, so he’s improving and that’s all he can do.

    “Hopefully he’s a consistent starter next year.”

    The 20-year-old, of course, could not have a better mentor as he works towards an NRL no.9 jersey; Simon Woolford made the position his own over 13 seasons at the Raiders and two more at the Dragons. Despite all the friendly rivalry when and if the two clubs meet, there is always a wealth of experience on the other end of the phone line.

    “We talk a lot,” Simon Woolford says. “I still look at some of his stuff on (Rugby League video database) Analyser and he rings up and asks me things about certain parts of the game.

    “I obviously try and give him a bit of dummy-half coaching when I can.”

    While Zac has once again been named on the bench for the Bulldogs’ qualifying final against the Wyong Roos, the Knights will travel to UOW Jubilee Oval where they will face the North Sydney Bears. Canterbury-Bankstown’s match will be broadcast live on Fox League from 12:40pm AEST on Saturday, before Newcastle and North Sydney kick off Sunday’s triple-header from 12pm AEST – live streamed exclusively on NSWRL.com.au.

    The next generation of NRL and NSW VB Blues players come directly from the Intrust Super Premiership NSW – click here for the latest on NSWRL’s blue-ribbon open-age competition.

    nswrl.com.au
     
  2. Mr Invisible

    Mr Invisible Super Mod Staff Member Premium Member Gilded

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    Be interesting to see where he fits in, as not sure if Garvey is with the club next year, but Brown will slot straight in one would think.

    Then there Joey Tramontana, who shows glimpses of brilliance when he isn't suspended for being a loose canon (Joel Romelo Mk 2).
     
  3. flamebouyant

    flamebouyant Kennel Enthusiast

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    @Lov_Dog the article says www.nswrl.com.au will be live streaming the 3 ISP games on sat starting with the dogs game at 12:40pm. I saw you were asking on the match day thread if it was available online. Dingers crossed it is. I would love to watch it!!!
     
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  4. Baby Blues

    Baby Blues Kennel Enthusiast

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    If Mbye stays at half next year along we might see a Woolford/Brown hooking combo. Unless Des prefers Frawley to still be in the mix somewhere
     
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  5. Lov_Dog

    Lov_Dog Kennel Enthusiast

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    Thanks a bunch @flamebouyant !! Will definitely be watching (10:40am my time) with my morning coffee 8-)

    ~c.
     
  6. flamebouyant

    flamebouyant Kennel Enthusiast

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    I realised after i posted that last message, that it will be on at 4am my time. Lol not sure i will be getting up to wa
     
  7. Lov_Dog

    Lov_Dog Kennel Enthusiast

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    Might very well be a more entertaining game than all of our first grade matches, all year!
    I used to do the 3:30am starts when back in Texas.

    ~c.
     
  8. D- voice

    D- voice Forum Regular

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    Has someone forgotten to tell them...Hasler wont be there next year LOL
     
  9. flamebouyant

    flamebouyant Kennel Enthusiast

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    Exactly. And it would be a pretty big upset if we get up as well. Might just be worth it.
     
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  10. flamebouyant

    flamebouyant Kennel Enthusiast

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    I cant work out how to post the link, but i just read an article on www.nswrl.com.au saying the the bulldogs game will be on fox league and various others on their site and fb page. Apparently all of the ISP finals matches will be played on air over their site, fb and fox. Even ron massey cup and some womans finals as well.

    Bummer. Looks like i will have to find highlights afterwards.
     
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  11. Lov_Dog

    Lov_Dog Kennel Enthusiast

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    http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2017/08/31/live_stream_rmc_ss_t.html

    ~c.
     
  12. flamebouyant

    flamebouyant Kennel Enthusiast

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  13. Lov_Dog

    Lov_Dog Kennel Enthusiast

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  14. SecretLifeOfPetsTheMovie

    SecretLifeOfPetsTheMovie Kennel Addict

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    Someone with Foxtel set up their Laptop in front of the TV and Facebook live stream for us bums
     
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