SCONE Thoroughbreds dominate the Group 21 senior side to play in the May 17 Greater Northern Championships at Scully Park in Tamworth.
No fewer than eight Thoroughbreds have been named in the side to be coached by former Scone premiership- winning coach Darryl Rando, seven of them in the run-on side.
Four, including NSW Country star Tim Smith, are in a backline whilst Scone captain-coach Daniel Ritter has been named at lock with James Barker (prop) and Wes Suckley (second row), also in the pack.
Suckley and Barker have been amongst Scone’s best in a five-match unbeaten run.
The Thoroughbreds sit atop the first grade A Plus Contracting G21 table, five points clear of Denman and Greta Branxton after beating Greta Branxton Colts 30-22 in their latest success at Greta Oval on Sunday.
Suckley showed his representative selection was well deserved with another strong performance against the Colts, Ritter said.
“Matt Finlayson (named on the G21 bench) also had some good strong carries for us in the middle,” Ritter said.
“And Justin Apthorpe cut them to pieces at five-eighth.
“He’s loving it at five-eighth. He gets the ball in his hands more.”
Apthorpe has been named in the centres for Group 21, partnering injured Singleton centre Luke Gardner.
Greta Branxton halves Joby Patten (6) and Joey Griffiths (7) have been named as the G21 halves with Colts teammate Daniel Bates at hooker.
Group selectors could find no berth for Muswellbrook Rams pivot, Ewen Bartholomew, although Daley Boney (11) and Cade Boney (14) were named in the squad.
Along with Jacob Pottinger, they are the only Rams representatives after the Rams annihilated Singleton Greyhounds early in Sunday’s clash at ResCo Park, Singleton.
Down 6-nil early, the Rams responded to lead 34-6 at halftime.
It was a pleasing start for captain-coach Josh Pearson.
“We got a good roll-on with the wind,” Pearsol said.
“We used the wind too, put up some big high bombs and they (Greyhounds) didn’t seem to want to catch them.”
He said Ewen Bartholomew carved the Greyhound defence up at five-eighth, scoring three tries in a deserving man of the match display.
Prop Simon Harmer was another standout.
The win was Muswellbrook’s first and elevated it to fourth on the G21 ladder, just a win behind equal second-placed Denman and Greta Branxton with a big match against Scone at home this Sunday.
G21 TABLE: Scone 10, Denman 5, Greta Branxton 5, Muswellbrook 3, Singleton 2, Aberdeen 1.