Trial match puts new re­cruits to the test

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY LEAGUE

THE Proser­pine Whit­sun­day Brah­mans held their first home game trial clash at Les Stagg Oval on Satur­day.

The Brah­mans wel­comed the tough trial match with the Mackay Mag­pies, who fin­ished their 2013 sea­son in a three-way tie for fourth place with Ser­ena Croc­o­diles and Mackay Broth­ers.

The un­der-18s were the first to hit the field against the Mag­pies, play­ing a closely con­tested match over four 20 minute halves.

The Mag­pies proved they had more fuel in the tank and claimed the vic­tory within the last 10 min­utes to leave the fi­nal score 26-24.

Un­der-18s co-coach Billy Boyd said he was proud of the boys but be­lieved they could have come away with the win.

“Most of the play­ers were re­cruited from Thurs­day’s train­ing ses­sion so it was the first time they have re­ally played to­gether as a team,” he said.

“The boys dropped a lot of ball which was dis­ap­point­ing but that’s what we will be fo­cus­ing on at train­ing.”

Boyd said the team had four key play­ers miss­ing on Satur­day as they had been selected for the Cut­ters un­der-18s com­pe­ti­tion.

“It will be a great morale boost for the side when we get them back on the field in May,” he said.

The Brah­mans un­der-18s are still look­ing for play­ers and those in­ter­ested are en­cour­aged to at­tend train­ing at Les Stagg Oval ev­ery Tues­day and Fri­day.

A GRADE/RE­SERVES

The Brah­mans A grade and re­serves sides played an en­ter­tain­ing round robin hit out with Mackay Mag­pies on Satur­day night.

In the first match, both clubs re­serve grades took to the field, with the highly an­tic­i­pated clash of A grade fol­low­ing 20 min­utes later.

Both sides then cre­ated a mixed A grade/re­serves side for the fi­nal two bouts on the night which de­lighted sup­port­ers watch­ing on from the grand­stands.

A grade coach Anthony Black­wood said the match was a good test to see where the team was at.

“It was our first hit out to­gether as a full team and I’m very happy with how the boys played de­fen­sively through­out the game,” he said.

Within the first 10 min­utes of the first trial match, the Brah­mans lost New Zealand sec­ond rower Tuki Jack­son for a re­peat in­fringe­ment but this didn’t de­ter the side from main­tain­ing a strong de­fen­sive line.

Black­wood said the trial clash was a good op­por­tu­nity to see the new play­ers per­form, but ad­mit­ted the team still had a lot of work to do.

Some of the new re­cruits to join the Brah­mans in their 2014 sea­son are un­der-18s co­coach Cal­lum Wilkin­son, and New Zealand rugby league stars Ivan Phenehe and Tuki Jack­son, English­man Jack Briskow, Bruce La­guna, Phil Ra­m­age, Ethan Gal­lop and Sam Condlin.

NEW RE­CRUITS: Proser­pine Whit­sun­day Brah­mans A grade coach Anthony Black­wood with new re­cruits Cal­lum Wilkin­son, Ivan Penehe, Tuki Jack­son, Jack Briskow, Bruce La­guna, (front) Phil Ra­m­age, Ethan Gal­lop and Sam Condlin be­fore their clash with the Mackay Mag­pies at Les Stagg Oval on Satur­day night.

BULL­DOZER: Brah­mans un­der-18s player Kumya Gabey was wrapped up by the Mackay Mag­pies de­fense dur­ing their trial clash at Les Stagg oval on Satur­day.

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