Dragons, Bears on track to im­press

NT News - - SPORT - JACK HISLOP

LITCH­FIELD and Night­cliff be­gan their NRL NT cam­paigns with a trial match on Satur­day night – and both coaches liked what they saw.

The Litch­field Bears scraped home with a 6-4 win in a con­test played over three 20minute pe­ri­ods.

Dragons boss Daniel Roach said both teams held noth­ing back in a tight tus­sle.

“I was re­ally im­pressed with our de­fence. There were a cou­ple of lit­tle ar­eas that we need to work on, but they worked as a team,” he said.

“For a bunch of blokes that hadn’t played to­gether be­fore, they stood up and went well.

“The boys are re­ally com­mit­ted. I had them there two hours be­fore the match and they all got there on time, it was some­thing I hadn’t had in a while.”

Bears coach Jake Barnes said it was a re­lief for the ru­ral club to fi­nally hit the pad­dock.

“It was a bit scrappy, there was a fair bit of drop ball, but it was a good game,” he said.

“The ref­eree let it flow. It was fast-paced and played at a high in­ten­sity for a trial match.”

Barnes was most im­pressed with new re­cruit Ty­rone Jen­nings, who has re­turned to his ju­nior club af­ter a stint at Palmer­ston.

“Ty­rone has come back over and was re­ally im­pres­sive at full­back. David Ja­cob­son was good at five-eighth and Jordy Ly­nas re­ally stood up in the for­wards,” he said.

“(Jen­nings) will prob­a­bly move into the cen­tres.

“He’s put on about five or six kilo­grams in the off-sea­son and had a re­ally, re­ally good game at the back. One-on-one, he’s go­ing to be a hand­ful for de­fences this year.”

Barnes said he was most pleased with how his key play­ers gelled.

“It was good to have a look at our new hooker Sam McCauley, Kyle Ra­m­age, (Ja­cob­son) and Jen­nings, our spine,” he said.

“They’ve been work­ing pretty closely to­gether over the past five weeks. It was good to let them take some own­er­ship and lead us around.”

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