We return to individual competition tonight when the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour returns to the Brisbane Entertainment Center for the fifth instalment of Last Cowboy Standing.
Last Cowboy Standing can throw up a few interesting results with riders going head to head in a bracket-style format. The rider with the highest score, or the longest riding time in the event both riders fail to make a qualified ride, advances. It tends to favour the cowboys who can put up solid numbers at a high riding percentage.
Here are some of the must-see Round 1 matchups:
Lachlan Slade on Super Natural (Wallace Bucking Bulls):
Slade has struggled with consistency so far this season, but he has drawn well in the opening round and gets an excellent chance to make the whistle. Super Natural will turn back into his hand and has excellent timing. Four of the last five cowboys to attempt this bull have received a score. Mitchel Paton combined with Super Natural for 86 points last weekend at PBR Origin in Sydney.
Aaron Kleier on Juiced Wiggles (George Ayers):
We only see Juiced Wiggles a handful of times each season, but this will be his fourth matchup with Kleier. The bull holds an overall PBR record of 16-for-17 and is 3-for-3 against the 2018 PBR Australian National Champion. Kleier has been on fire over the last six weeks, riding five of seven bulls and we can expect these two to do battle around to the right once again.
Brady Fielder on Pistol Whip (Dunne Bulls):
Fielder has ridden seven of his previous ten bulls wile Pistol Whip has allowed just one qualified ride in PBR competition over the past 12 months. Pistol Whip is a veteran bull who produces a consistent trip. We see him turn back to the left more often than not, but last week at PBR Origin he did spin to the right. Fielder has an excellent chance either way. The last cowboy to make the bell on this bull was Kurt Shephard who put up 84.75 points at the 2018 Grand Finals.
Lane Mellers vs Shots (Dittmann Bucking Bulls):
Late last season we saw the riders record five straight qualified rides on Shots with scores in the mid to high 80 point range. This season, Shots is 4-for-4, but that could change here. He can either turn back to the left or fake left, and spin right and Shots is equally as strong in either direction. I think 2018 Rookie of the Year has a chance either way. Mellers has been starting his rides off well against some fierce opposition at the past few events, and it won’t be long until he makes one stick.
Lawson Nobbs on Wild Paint (Throsby and Russell Bucking Bulls):
Nobbs came down from both of his bulls last weekend at PBR Origin, but he gets a great chance to bounce back strong here. Wild Paint has been covered twice in his previous five PBR outs and should the left-handed rider. He can be pretty rank leaving the chutes and will take a look to the right before settling into a counter-clockwise spin. Cody Heffernan was 86 points on this bull to win the long round in Bendigo earlier this year, and Brady Fielder scored 83.5 points a few weeks back at the Sydney Show.
Cliff Richardson on Gangster Jack (Stuart Timm):
Richardson returns to Brisbane as the defending Last Cowboy Standing after going 3-for-3 in this arena last year. He made a brilliant ride in the Bonus Round at PBR Origin last weekend so his confidence should be high going into this matchup. We haven’t seen too much of Gangster Jack in PBR competition but at the 2018 Last Cowboy Standing, Mitch Paton rode him for 82.5 points to progress out of the opening round. He has a lot of roll in his action, and I believe his regular trip is around to the right which should bode well for Richardson.