Shepparton Bulls know how to close out a season.
The Bulls ran rampant in their Victorian Rugby Union second division match against Maroondah at Vibert Reserve on Saturday and could not be stopped.
They went into half-time with a handy 23-point lead, but coach Stony Scanlan demanded more from his players.
‘‘We did okay in the first half, but we had a lot of errors and the boys seemed to be just playing for fun,’’ Scanlan said.
‘‘I spoke to them and said it’s our last game of the season and it doesn’t really matter if we win or lose, but we have to play well and put in a good performance. Treat it like it’s our grand final.’’
The rev-up worked wonders as the Bulls smashed their bottom-of-the-ladder opponents to run in tries at will and win by 84 points.
It is the biggest win in the club’s history since Shepparton rugby was rebranded as the Bulls in 2013.
Sailasa Madrai led from the front with four tries, David Koyamaibole ran in a hat-trick, while fellow stars Laitia Vuniwaqa and Filipe Tiko got in on the act with two each.
The match took on extra significance with club stalwart Ben Moananu taking to the field for his final game for the Bulls.
Moananu even ran in a try and slotted a conversion.
‘‘He led the team onto the field, so it means a lot to him and the club to play his last game here at home, score a try and play in a big win like that,’’ Scanlan said.
‘‘We were happy to play in front of our home crowd and give them something to take home out of this season.
‘‘The boys put in a good performance and I want to thank everyone who has come to support us on the weekends and that win is dedicated to all the supporters.’’
While it was all positive at the weekend, the Bulls missed out on making the finals for a second straight season after last year’s breakthrough appearance.
They finished fifth with a 6-8 record as Melton finished inside the top-four despite scoring less points and conceding more during the season.
Scanlan said it was disappointing to have missed out on finals action, but the club had a foundation to build on for the future.
‘‘Shepparton Rugby Club started out in the country division, but now we’re in second division A, which is a higher standard of competition,’’ Scanlan said.
‘‘We’ve had some players come in during the second half of the season and if they had have come in earlier it would’ve made a bit of a difference.
‘‘It would’ve been great if we made it to the finals, but we didn’t, so we’ll prepare well for next year.
‘‘To the supporters, I’m sorry we couldn’t make the finals, but hopefully they’ll continue to support us.’’
Scanlan said the club was in a stable position to move forward for the coming years.
‘‘There was a lot of stuff we needed to sort out in the club before this year,’’ Scanlan said.
‘‘While we didn’t perform as we would’ve liked in making the finals, I’m satisfied that we achieved some goals inside the club to have that base there for next year where we’re not always restarting every year.
‘‘You can never have a solid and successful club if you’re changing things around every year.’’