If the opening night of the 2021 PBR Australia competition is anything to go by, we are in for a cracking event tonight!
Last night the average bull score was 0.82 points higher than the standard mark during the 2020 season, allowing the riders to post some big scores. For Event 2, the pen looks much the same, so most riders would have had a chance to assess their draws, but there are a few bulls that we didn’t see that could make life difficult for some of the cowboys.
Here are my highlight matchups for this evening:
Jake Curr on Told Ya So (TnR Bucking Bulls)
Last season’s Rookie of the Year bucked off last night, but he gets an excellent chance to bounce back and post a score here. Told Ya So has only had four trips in PBR Australia competition, and he has given up two scores. Those scores both went to right-handed riders, even though the bull prefers to spin to the left. Leaving the chutes, he can look to the right, but he should soon turn back into Curr’s left hand.
Lachlan Richardson on Tribal (Dunne Bulls)
Richardson was outstanding last night. He went 2-for-2 to finish in second place but didn’t have the bull power underneath him to match Kleier. In the long round tonight, he faces Tribal, who posted 42.5 points last night and took his PBR record to 10-0. This bull likes to mix up his trips, but we generally see him take a leap or two out to clear the chutes and then he makes his decision on which way to turn back. The Gresford cowboy will be the first genuine Top-5 calibre rider that has attempted this bull, so it will be interesting to see how the matchup plays out.
Brady Fielder on Ariat’s Flaunt It (Dunne Bulls)
Fielder let one slip by last night, and he will be eager to keep in touch with the leaders in the National Standings. Here he faces Flaunt It, a bull who has allowed just one qualified ride in fourteen outs. These two athletes matched up last season at Caboolture, where the bull drew a slap at the 5-second mark and posted a bull score of 42.5 points. This bull produced his typical out last night in the short round, spinning to the right, which will be into the Clermont cowboy’s hand, and I don’t think Fielder will let this one get away.
Lawson Nobbs on Blinky Bill (BK Bucking Bulls)
Blinky Bill produced a solid trip last night, taking his career record to 2-0 with a bull score of 42.5 points. He once again turned back to the left, which will suit Nobbs here in his season debut. The Moura bull rider finished last season on a high, with a fifth-place finish at the Grand Finals. He has carried that form through to 2021, picking up checks at just about every rodeo he has entered. Nobbs has two PBR Australia wins inside this arena over the past couple of seasons, and he should get himself off to a good start again here.
Isaac Leclair on Suga Boom Boom (BK Bucking Bulls)
Leclair had a tough draw on Night 1 but emerged unscathed, and while there are no easy draws at this level of competition, his task tonight appears much more suitable. Suga Boom Boom and left-handed riders seem to get along quite well, with both qualified rides recorded in his PBR career belonging to lefties. He produces a consistent trip with bulls scores around the 42-point mark, and he will turn back into the Bindoon rookies’ hand not too far from the gate.
Aaron Kleier on POA Lock n Load (Dittmann Bucking Bulls)
Kleier was red hot last night, taking his PBR competition record inside the Great Western to 10-for-13 to pick up his third victory in the arena. Last night’s event champion has picked up another two-time re-match for the long-round here. Lock n Load and Kleier both have a past victory. The bull won in 3.04 seconds at the 2018 Grand Finals, while Kleier was 88.5 points when winning the short-go at Bundaberg last season. Last night we saw Lock n Load ridden for 82 points after turning back to the right, which is his preferred direction. The Clermont cowboy looked very comfortable riding away from his hand on Friday, and this seems an excellent opportunity for him to stay perfect on the weekend.