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The Roar


'There's no more stigma': Bulls coach's cheeky Rudan barb over non-red in derby as things get heated post-game

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1st April, 2024

Western Sydney coach Marko Rudan says his side have recaptured their edge after breaking their Campbelltown Stadium hoodoo with a 3-1 clobbering of cross-town rivals Macarthur FC.

In what was no April Fools’ joke, Western Sydney took the Bulls by the horns with a monster second-half performance on Easter Monday to snatch their first league win at the venue and solidify their place in the top six.

Brought on for Milos Ninkovic in the 52nd minute, Western Sydney academy product Nicolas Milanovic wasted no time announcing his presence with a bullet strike after just five minutes to break the goalless stalemate.

Untagged in open pastures, Polish import Sonny Kittel ran freely down the right wing to give the visitors their second goal of the afternoon on 65 minutes before Jorrit Hendrix buried their third in the space of 13 minutes.

Matt Millar snatched one back for the Bulls in the 86th minute but the damage was already done.

Sixth-placed Western Sydney are now four points clear of seventh-placed Melbourne City, who have a game in hand.

The Wanderers had suffered a controversial 4-3 loss the last time they visited Campbelltown.


Rudan sternly criticised the officiating in the post-match press conference that day, claiming there was a stigma attached to his club following their defeat.

He was subsequently suspended for two matches by Football Australia and Western Sydney lost four of their next six games.

Tempers flared again after the two teams met again on Monday, with players – and then coaching staff including Rudan – becoming entangled after the final whistle.

Rudan later dismissed the incident as some “excitement”, and no cards were produced by officials.

The sixth-placed Wanderers now have two wins on the trot after a vital 2-1 victory against Perth last round.

“Since that Perth trip, there’s a real sparkle in their eyes and the edge is back, and that showed in that second half,” Rudan said.


“To come here and go bang, bang, bang – it’s not easy to come here and get a result.”

Rudan also brushed off his history with the venue.

“I move on very quickly,” Rudan said. “It’s my job to call it how I see it.

“What happened, happened. I took the penalty for it. I’ve got to learn from it.

“There’ll be more games where I’m going to be upset, a hundred per cent, but I like to think that I learned a bit from my outburst.”

Using Rudan’s words against him, Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski aired his issues with the refereeing after Western Sydney’s Brandon Borrello took Clayton Lewis to ground in the 55th minute.


“When it happened in front of me, I thought it was definitely a red. I was so surprised that he wasn’t sent off,” Sterjovski said.

“I’ve seen other challenges given red for that. I think there’s no more stigma against the Wanderers after that decision.”

Macarthur will be kicking themselves after letting their early control of the game slip.

The Bulls had earned eight corners to the Wanderers’ one and took 14 shots to four in the first half, but were let down by inaccuracy.

In total, Macarthur were awarded 17 corners to one and had 24 shots to nine, with only four on target.

Frenchman Valere Germain, in his 500th professional appearance, came closest to opening the hosts’ account with a header in the 41st minute, sending the ball just wide.

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Germain again missed in the 47th minute in front of goal before Milanovic grabbed an ascendancy the visitors would not relinquish.