New focus drives Bulls in pursuit of success

MOST V8 Supercar fans will be more than familiar with Greg Murphy's 'lap of the Gods' during the 2003 Bathurst.

Well, the Bulls had their own Greg Murphy in Usman Khawaja as the boys swapped their maroons for race overalls on a trip out to Eastern Creek Go-Karting on Wednesday.

After getting ourselves into the Ryobi Cup final on Sunday at North Sydney Oval, it was felt some down-time was needed with a few days off before the big game.

With the cricket schedule so hectic in the lead-up to Christmas and the KFC T20 Big Bash League, it's always important to take time away from the game to refresh the mind and the body.

It was safe to say

go-karting did neither of those things as the squad went bumper to bumper in 38 degree heat, but plenty of fun was had nonetheless.

With a top speed of 95kmh not an inch from the ground, the hairpins, sweeping corners and long straights meant some white-knuckle moments for a handful of overly excited members of the team.

Nathan Reardon took less than two laps before spinning out of control at the front of the pack and stalled, facing the wrong way - players casually flicking him the "bird" as they passed him like a sitting duck.

As they say in Days of Thunder, 'rubbin's racin' and after plenty of paint swapping, Uzzie (Khawaja) took out the title in his home state.

If anything, the hard-fought 20-lap shootout well and truly mirrored the intensity expected in our Ryobi final.

Even when you're not training, you're training.

At the beginning of pre-season, we spoke as a group about going back-to-back in the finals after we won two of the three formats last year.

Our main focus has been our fielding.

Of course, all three facets of our game are more than important, but we felt if we could be the best fielding side in the country we would be strong contenders.

As you may or may not have seen over the past two weeks in Sydney, our

catching has been second to none.

It's always the half-chances that will win you the tight games, and we have taken our fair share of them to date.

It has been a good month for the limited-overs game, not just in Sydney for the Ryobi Cup, but also on the sub-continent in the Australia-India ODI Series.

It's certainly a big positive after the negative press of the last few years with many a journo and administrative figure

deeming it a lifeless format since the introduction of Twenty20 cricket.

There has certainly been nothing deceased about the high scoring, big hitting games which have taken place.

Rarely do you see big scores of 300-plus chased down, but it's happening time and time again.

Only a positive for the crowds, of which we hope to see a big one come Sunday for the Ryobi Cup final at North Sydney Oval.



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