Game Notes – 2022 PBR Origin II – Tamworth
By: Kacie Albert Friday, April 22, 2022 @ 10:21 AM
TAKING THE TITLE FIGHT TO TAMWORTH – This weekend, the 2022 PBR Origin series will continue in Tamworth, New South Wales, as AELEC prepares to host PBR Origin II. The 2022 PBR Origin marks the third iteration of the state vs. state bull riding showdown, modeled after the State of Origin rugby league event that is considered Australian sport’s greatest rivalry. Action gets underway at 7:00 p.m. AEDT.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORMAT – The 2022 PBR Australia Origin II – Tamworth will feature three rounds of competition. After each of the 10 competing bull riders for both teams attempt one bull each in Round 1 and Round 2, the Top 4 riders from each team will advance to the bonus round for one final out. The event winner will be the team with the highest combined score in the event aggregate. In addition to vying the title of PBR Australia Origin Champion and their share of the event purse, riders will also be competing for points towards the Australian national standings and broader PBR World Standings. All points will be awarded for each riders’ efforts in Round 1, Round 2 and the event aggregate. No points will be awarded for the bonus round.
LET’S RECAP: PBR ORIGIN I – NEWCASTLE – In late March, the 2022 PBR Origin series got underway in Newcastle, New South Wales, as Team Queensland fought off a hard-charging Team New South Wales to edge to an early 1-0 lead in the battle of states. Here is a round-by-round recap of the opening event:
- Round 1: The Maroons were quick to strike in their first out of the evening as four-time and reigning PBR Australia Champion and Queensland Captain Aaron Kleiercovered Hearing Voices for 81.5 points. Following the successful trip, Team Queensland’s momentum continued to mount. The Maroons delivered five additional scores before Team New South Wales registered their first qualified ride. Michael Smith rode Bluey for 83 points, Jake Curr conquered Midnight Special for 83 points, Qynn Andersen bested Night Fury for 84.5 points, Kelsey Pavlou covered Mac Daddy for 79.5 points, and Taran Chirgwin outlasted Dirty Hombre for 81.5 points. Compliments of their six unanswered rides, Team Queensland’s lead briefly swelled to 493 points. Down but not out, Lachlan Slade righted the ship for Team New South Wales, igniting a comeback which nearly led to the Blues’ first ever event win in the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Origin series. Matched up against A Force, Slade matched the bovine athlete jump-for-jump, en route to an 83-point score. Preventing a shutout in Round 1, Team New South Wales entered Round 2 trailing Team Queensland by 410 points.
- Round 2: New South Wales Captain, and 2016 PBR Australia Champion, Cody Heffernanset the tone early for his contingent in the second round. After watching on as rival captain Kleier was bucked off by Kit Carson in a swift 1.94 seconds, Heffernan responded with a resounding 86-point ride atop Call Me Joe. Compliments of the score, Team Queensland’s lead again shrunk, with Team New South Wales climbing within 324 points. While both the Maroons and Blues registered buckoffs in their outs that followed, Will Purcell was next to convert for Team New South Wales, bringing his home state team within 243.5 points after he rode G Shock for 80.5 points. Team New South Wales’ three-score unanswered streak, however, came to an end the next time the chute gates at Newcastle Entertainment Centre burst open. Marking his second qualified ride of the evening, 18-year-old Andersen rode Breaking Bad for 83.5 points to grow Team Queensland’s lead to 237 points. Andersen, however, was the only rider to cover for Team Queensland in Round 2. As the second long round of competition wound to a close, both Braith Nock and Lachlan Richardson added points to the board for Team New South Wales. Nock rode Lost It for 84 points, and Richardson made the 8 atop Spokane for 84.5 points. Compliments of their resurgence, Team New South Wales kept their hopes alive, entering the bonus round within a mere 158.5 points of Team Queensland.
- Bonus Round: In the final outs of PBR Origin I – Newcastle, Chirgwin, Smith, Andersen and Captain Kleier were tapped to ride one final time for Team Queensland, while Slade, Nock, Richardson and Captain Heffernan earned the chance to compete one final time inside Newcastle Entertainment Centre for Team New South Wales. After both Slade and Nock bucked off for the Blues, Captain Kleier clinched the win for Team Queensland when he covered Big Buck Hunterfor 86 points. With two riders for each state still left to ride, Heffernan rode Cliffhanger for 87 points, and Andersen bested Natural Hillbilly for 85 points, leading the final scoreboard to read 747.5-505, with Team Queensland winning PBR Origin I – Newcastle by 242.5 points, outscoring Team New South Wales by three ride scores.
TEAM QUEENSLAND – These are the 10 riders that will ride for the Team Queensland Maroons at PBR Origin II – Tamworth:
Captain Aaron Kleier (Clermont, Queensland)
Qynn Anderson (Koumala, Queensland)
Kelsey Pavlou (Gracemere, Queensland)
Brumby Brandenburg (Clermont, Queensland)
Michael Smith (Tully, Queensland)
Taran Chirgwin (Calliope, Queensland)
*Jackson Gray (Barcaldine, Queensland)
*Ben Moran (Yeppoon, Queensland)
Caiden Sandilands (Rockhampton, Queensland)
Dan Ruhland (Mount Walker, Queensland)
*Denotes a rider who did not compete at PBR Origin I – Newcastle.
TEAM NEW SOUTH WALES – These are the 10 riders that will ride for the Team New South Wales Blues at PBR Origin II – Tamworth:
Captain Cody Heffernan (Singleton, New South Wales)
Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales)
Braith Nock (Bendemeer, New South Wales)
*Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, New South Wales)
Lachlan Slade (Tamworth, New South Wales)
Trefor Sproule (Singleton, New South Wales)
Oscar Leake (Dungog, New South Wales)
Will Purcell (Albury, New South Wales)
*Chris Wilson (Parkville, New South Wales)
Thomas Hudson (Dungog, New South Wales)
*Denotes a rider who did not compete at PBR Origin I – Newcastle.
MEET THE NEW FACES – For PBR Origin II – Tamworth, both Team New South Wales and Team Queensland will have new faces following the opening iteration of the series in New Castle. Here are those riders:
- Nathan Burtenshaw secured his position on the New South Wales team compliments of a crucial fourth-place effort in Toowoomba. Burtenshaw’s 82.5-point score on Houston Callingand 84.5-point ride atop Pied Piper earned him 52 national points, catapulting him to now No. 13 in the Australian standings.
- One of the sport’s emerging talents, 19-year-old Chris Wilson earned his chance to represent the Blues in Tamworth compliments of seventh place finish in Toowoomba. Garnering 13 national points for his efforts, Wilson will don the jersey for the second time in his young career as the No. 12-ranked rider in Australia.
- Jackson Gray made his 2022 PBR Australia season debut in Toowoomba, and courtesy of an 11th-place result, Gray earned his first-ever opportunity to compete at PBR Origin. The 21-year-old will join the talented Queensland roster ranked No. 20 in the race for the 2022 PBR Australia Championship. Following his season debut, Gray was active at the most recent event in Rockhampton where he was 10th.
- Ben Moran delivered a career-best effort in Toowoomba to earn his opportunity to represent the Maroons at PBR Origin II – Tamworth. The 18-year-old young gun was 12th at the Monster Energy Tour stop, reaching the 8 for the first time in his career when he covered Rip Slinger for 78.5 points. Moran was then inside the Top 10 at the most recent tour stop in Rockhampton, finishing sixth to rise to No. 19 in the national standings.
FAMILIAR WATERS – Round 1 of PBR Origin II – Tamworth will feature two rematches, with each nation drawing a familiar opponent. Team Queensland’s Dan Ruhland will look to avenge a buckoff dealt to him in Rockhampton in 2021 by A Force in a quick 2.67 seconds, while Team New South Wales’ Thomas Hudson will attempt to reverse his fortunes atop Born For This, who bested him in 5.93 seconds during the opening iteration of the state vs. state series.
Round 2 will again feature a pair of familiar showdowns split between the Maroons and Blues. Team Queensland Captain Aaron Kleier will look to keep his perfect record intact against Volatile. Kleier rode the bull for 89 points during the 2018 Monster Energy Tour stop in Dubbo, New South Wales. For Team New South Wales new-comer Nathan Burtenshaw, he will be locked in a rubber match with Jack Frost. After riding the bull for 83.5 points during the Grafton, New South Wales event in 2018, Jack Frost got the better of Burtenshaw in their most recent meeting, bucking him off in Tamworth in 2020 in a quick 2.41 seconds.
PAST TAMWORTH EVENT WINNERS – The PBR last travelled to Tamworth in 2019 when Brady Sims rode to the event win at the Tamworth Iron Cowboy. Outlasting the other 27 competing riders, the American cowboy parlayed an 83.5-point score atop Wrangler’s Volatile in the championship round into his 14th career PBR event victory across all levels of competition. Justin Paton was the last Australian to claim the title of Tamworth Iron Cowboy, earning the title in 2018. The Queensland native rode to the golden finish compliments of an 81-point score on Western Ways, an 83.5-point effort aboard Super Natural, and a clutch 88-point ride atop POA Palooka to cement the victory. In both 2009 and 2010, Tamworth hosted the season culminating PBR Australia Grand Finals, won by Rocky McDonald and Ben Jones, respectively.
The complete list of past winners is as follows:
Brady Sims (2019)
Justin Paton (2018)
Lucas Divino (2018)
Matt Triplett (2017)
Cristiano Cunha (2016)
Dave Mason (2015)
Jared Farley (2014)
Nathan Burtenshaw (2013)
Lachlan Slade (2013)
David Kennedy (2012)
Beau Willis (2012)
Ben Jones (2010)
Rocky McDonald (2009)
BULL PEN – At this weekend’s PBR Origin II – Tamworth event, stock contractors from both Queensland and New South Wales will provide animal athletes as the 2022 iteration of the state vs. state series holds its second stop. While Throsby & Russell and Maynes Bucking Bulls will represent Team New South Wales, ST Bucking Bulls will have bucking bulls onsite that hail from Queensland.
PROVIDING PROTECTION – This weekend’s protection athletes are Eric Richardson, Jared Borghero and Corey Duncan.
NEXT UP – The 2022 PBR Australia season will continue Saturday, April 30 for PBR Bull Pit Touring Pro Division event in Bull Pitt, Queensland. Action will get underway at 7:00 p.m. AEDT.