GREATER Northern Academy Cubs and Tigers had some hard work against Newcastle Knights development sides in Cessnock last Saturday.
This Saturday they can have some fun in Tamworth.
That was the call from head coach Peter Stevens after the Cubs had recorded a 22-14 win over the Knights Chargers squad and the GNA Tigers had lost 28-4 to the Knights Under 17s.
The GNA squads tackle the North Coast and Northern Rivers academies on Saturday.
They play North Coast on Saturday morning at Jack Woolaston Oval after North Coast and Northern Rivers have started the weekend with 9.30am and 10.30am games and then back up to play Northern Rivers in curtain- raiser games at Scully Park to the NRL trial between Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights.
Those games are at 4.15pm and 5.15pm.
“It will be a good finish for the boys,” Peter Stevens said.
“It will be good for them to play before a good crowd at Scully Park and show what skills they do possess.
“And we’d like to think we’re one of the top academies in the bush.
“The coastal academies do fancy themselves.
“We like to get them over here and bash them up a bit.”
GNA manager Scott Bone said this weekend’s games would complete a good season for the local academy.
“The boys did play well at Cessnock.
“From the way they had been training we thought the older side (Tigers) might go well and the younger ones (Cubs) might struggle.
“But it was the other way around.”
Jack Jeffrey, Phillip Quinlan, Lachlan Walmsley and Brayden Jerrard scored tries for the Cubs in their 22-14 win against two Knights’ teams.
They led 16-nil at half-time of their game and then played a whole new Knights squad in the second half.
Brad Johnston was the lone tryscorer for the Tigers against the Knights in their 28-4 loss although the Knights only led 10-4 at half-time.
“Then they ran on 10 fresh blokes,” Bone said.
“It was a good effort for their first game.”
He said the two academy games on the weekend would be a good finish, with “two small awards” presented after the Saturday morning games against North Coast games at Jack Woolaston Oval.
Northern Rivers and North Coast play at 9.30am and 10.30am followed by the GNA Cubs and Tigers games against North Coast at 11.30am and 12.30pm.