OUTGOING Central coach Craig Miller believes Kurri Kurri have the ingredients to go all the way in the Newcastle Rugby League finals.
The Bulldogs dismantled the Butcher Boys 30-12 in the minor semi-final at Kurri Kurri Sportsground on Saturday, to draw the curtain on Miller’s two years in charge.
Most of the damage was done in the first half as the Bulldogs raced to a 22-0 lead.
The win was Kurri’s sixth straight and puts Souths and Lakes on alert.
“They were far too good,” Miller said. “They ran and tackled harder than us. No excuses. They played well and congratulations to them. They have won six in a row. They had a fantastic following there today and have a lot of belief, and that goes a long way this time of the year.”
Kurri coach Ron Griffiths said the belief was always there. It’s their hard work and positive mindset that is coming to fruition.
“To say I’m proud is an understatement,” Griffiths said. “I know where we have come from. To come up with that result is reward for all the hard work we have put in.
“Central are a very experienced team and we were able to set the tone early on. We knew they would strike back in the second half and they did that. Most importantly for us, we weather it and were able to go on with it.”
Brad Murray recovered from a hamstring injury for Central, but it was his opposite Jarom Haines and halves partner Jade Porter who had the major say.
“They compliment each other so well,” Griffiths said. “Jade is the experienced one and Jarom takes them on. They were great as was Ngangarra Barker.”
Miller, despite losing both finals games, walks away with his head held high.
“I had a job to do in two years and that was to put the club in a strong position,” he said. “I am very proud of what we have achieved in two years. To make the semi-finals two years in a row and win the club championships. We have left the club in a strong position and they are getting a great coach next year in Phil Williams.
“They are not a club which has been at this end of the year very often. The club needs to learn from it and I’m sure they will. They will have an even better year next year.”