The Greater Northern Tigers travel to Lismore this weekend to tackle Northern Rivers in the opening round of the under-23’s and ladies league tag Country Championships.
Tigers under-23’s coach Peter Stevens admitted that he has only been focusing on what his own side is capable of, rather than on their opponents.
“I’m definitely not over confident,” Stevens said.
“I don’t know if the pool we picked from will stand up to some of the other pools but if you base it off our training, we’ve had two runs and they’ve looked sharp. We’re just going to hopefully earn the right to play some footy, if we work had enough hopefully an opportunity will come, we haven’t made things too complicated.”
Stevens say his players to watch are Jarrod Wicks, who will captain the side, as well as halves pairing Mitchell Doring and James Bradley.
Tigers’ ladies league tag coach Mick Schmiedel believes his team contains a good mix of players that can help get them over the line on Saturday.
“I think our region is one of the stronger league tag areas, unfortunately we just haven’t been able to get to the final to show that,” Schmiedel said.
“We’ve had two good quality players pull out, but the ones that have come in were unlucky not to make it in the first place, so I’m not disappointed.
“I’m still happy and I’m sure that we’re going to be just as competitive as if the girls had of stayed.”
Schmiedel admitted his side would be focusing on their defence against a dangerous Northern Rivers side.
“If you don’t miss a tag they can’t score a try, it’s not like league where they can run over the top of you to score, they can only score if you miss a tag, so we’ll be very defence orientated,” he said.
Schmiedel says his players to watch are Jess Brown, Cody Ryan out of dummy half as well as dynamic youngster Jordan Mackenzie.
The ladies league tag play at 11am at Crozier Oval with the under-23s kicking off at 12:05pm.
Greater Northern Tigers ladies league tag: 1. Jordan McKenzie (Moree Boomerangs), 21. Deborah McGrady (Moree Boomerangs), 3. Shae Pemberton (Muswellbrook), 4. Jess Baker (Kootingal-Moonbi), 5. Aylce Walsh (Uralla), 6. Amy Barraclough (North Tamworth), 7. Sofie Casson (Scone), 8. Jesse Brown (North Tamworth), 9. Codie Ryan (Inverell), 11. Vicki Youman (Uralla), 12. Hope Martin (Dungowan), 13. Bronte Harris (North Tamworth), 14. Kate McCulloch (Armidale), 15. Dayna Porter (Werris Creek), 18. Camilla Clydsdale (Uralla), 22. Olivia Turner (Tingha).
Greater Northern Tigers under-23s: 1. Bailey Taylor (Muswellbrook), 2. Will Nieuwenhuise (Singleton), 3. Tim Bridge (Scone), 4. Hamish Wolfgang (Aberdeen), 5. Zack Leonard (Werris Creek), 6. James Bradley (Singleton), 7. Mitch Doring (Kootingal-Moonbi), 8. Dylan Thorne (Muswellbrook), 9. Jarrod Wicks (Scone), 10. James Ballinger (Inverell), 11. Jordan Mulherin (Muswellbrook), 12. Brady Benkovic (Muswellbrook), 13. Bailey Wooden (Muswellbrook), 14. Cameron French (Aberdeen), 15. Mitch Sheridan (North Tamworth), 16. Brett Wright (Moree Boomerangs), 20. Sam Fitzsimmons (Aberdeen).
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