PBR Australia takes the Monster Energy Tour back to South Australia this Saturday night for the 2018 edition of the Adelaide Invitational.
Riders recorded a riding percentage of just 26.0% inside Melbourne Arena last weekend, but I think we should see this figure improve with a very similar pen of bulls contracted for this event.
Almost half of the bovines they faced last weekend had not been seen for over eight months so riders should benefit from seeing their opponents in the flesh in Melbourne.
This event will serve as the final opportunity for riders to stake their claim for a spot on Team Australia for the 2019 PBR Global Cup in February next year.
You can tune into Ridepass from 7:00 pm AEST (7:30 pm ACDT, 8:00 pm AEDT) if you can’t make it to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
I will have The Morning Line ready to go on Saturday morning where I will break down the individual matchups you need to watch! Keep your eye out on Social Media for that one.
EDIT: Here is The Morning Line for the Adelaide Invitational
Cody Heffernan got his night off to a great start riding Ransom 2 for 85-points and the Round 1 win. Heffernan bucked off in Round 2 but was the only rider to make the 8-seconds in the Championship Round, with his 85.5 point ride aboard Light Em Up enough to put him atop the event leaderboard.
Heffernan was the best of five riders who finished 2-for-3 on the night, jumping Cliff Richardson, Fraser Babbington, Rohan Markham, and Justin Paton with his final ride to claim the buckle.
The event format will be the same as last weekend with all 22 riders facing a bull each in Rounds 1 and 2. The top-8 riders on the event leaderboard will the return for the Championship Round.
View the complete Adelaide Invitational Daysheet Here
2017 PBR Australian National Champion Troy Wilkinson made a successful return from mid-year surgery with a 2-for-3 performance to finish second in the Melbourne Invitational. Wilkinson will be chasing further points in a bid to ensure he retains his spot on Team Australia.
Aaron Kleier will be hoping to bounce back following his Melbourne shut-out. The 2018 PBR Australian National Champion looks to have drawn quite well in the long rounds and will be hoping to close out the year with a strong finish.
PBR Premier Tour regular Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, NSW) will look to shake off a disappointing night in Melbourne where he finished 0-for-2. The 26-year-old had covered seven of his last eight bulls on Australian soil previously. Richardson looks to have drawn well in the long rounds.
Brazilian’s Lucas Divino, Rubens Barbosa and Junio Quaresima will line up for their final event before heading back across the Pacific. It has been a successful visit for the trio who have combined for seven top-8 finishes, which includes Divino’s PBR Australia Grand Finals event win.
Barbosa finished third in Melbourne and looked the one to beat after covering his two long round draws for 84.5-points apiece. He was then forced to withdraw with a back injury which appeared to flare up while he was preparing to ride Call Me Joe in the Championship Round.
We also welcome Canadian Cawl Braithwaite to his first PBR Australia event. The 23-year-old attended limited events in 2018, finishing with a 3-for-8 record.
The 2018 APRA Australian Champion Bull Rider Brady Fielder (Yeppoon, QLD) will make his PBR debut this weekend in Adelaide. Tyler Morgan (Mount Morgan, QLD) will make his PBR return after debuting in 2016 at Jundah, QLD.
Cliff Richardson and Fraser Babbington will once again be absent as they continue to recover from injuries suffered in the final events of the 2018 Season.
Rubens Barbosa has been dealing with a back injury and has been undergoing treatment all week. The veteran is expected to take his place in the Adelaide draw.
Justin Paton missed Round 2 of the Melbourne Invitational as he battled with an arm injury sustained at the Grand Finals in Townsville. The 26-year-old is back in the draw for Adelaide.
View the Official PBR Australia Daysheet Here
Inside Bull Pen
TnR Bucking Bulls will once again headline the bullpen with a good chance to take out back-to-back bull team events. Call Me Joe, Mr Buckmore and Night Hawk will all be out in Saturday night’s final round. Bring The Action was rewarded with a Championship Round berth following his impressive co-high-marked 43.5-point out last weekend with pen-mate Street Wise.
John Gill & Sons‘ Stir Crazy split the high-marked out award with 43.5 points last week and looks to be one of the tougher draws in Round 1 while High Flying Akubra will take his regular place in the Championship Round.
George Hempenstall‘s team will be led by Maximum Rat and Stealth who will both be out in the final round of the night. Maximum Rat has now given up qualified rides in his last four outs while Stealth has averaged 43-points in his previous three trips giving up just one ride.
Blind Fury will represent Woodall Rodeo Company in the short round after making quick work of two riders in Melbourne.
It looks a very even event with most riders a good chance to put aleast one score onto the leaderboards through the long rounds. Here are my top-6 that I think we will see at the top of that leaderboard after the three rounds on Saturday night.
Troy Wilkinson looks to have drawn very well for the opening rounds of the Adelaide Invitational, and I think he will be hard to beat on Saturday night.
If Mitchel Paton can break out of his slump, I think he can figure in the finish along with Cody Heffernan, Aaron Kleier and Lachlan Richardson who have all drawn well.
I will also throw Brady Fielder in as my roughie. He looks to have drawn a couple of solid bulls in his PBR Australia debut and from what I have seen, he has the talent to compete at this level.
If you are not a Ridepass subscriber, I will be providing updates via Twitter, Instagram and my Live Updates page from 7 pm (6 pm AEST) on Saturday Night or check back on Sunday for my wrap-up.