The Greater Northern Tigers’ teams have been split from one central venue for Saturday’s Country Championships matches and trials.
While the under-16s and under-18s remain at Morry Breen Oval for their Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cup second round fixtures against Central Coast, the open men and women will now take the field with Newcastle at Dudley.
It was a disappointing decision but unavoidable in the circumstances.
Greater Northern men’s coach Brad McManus doesn’t mind where his side plays its trial, just as long as they play.
“Don’t want you to turn up half-assed just to get a jumper, shorts and socks,” he told his chargers at the end of Wednesday’s session at Jack Woolaston Oval.
“I want everyone to turn up and have a dig.”
That his squad will be missing a few players is a given.
That they will be a small side is also a certain fact.
“We’re probably missing another big front-rower,” assistant Richard Ingram said.
It means the likes of Gunnedah prop Lincon Smith will be called on to play strong and smart in the middle.
“We’ll be small and mobile,” McManus said.
“They’ll give it a crack though.
“We’ve got some good young kids and a bit of experience.”
The experience revolves around the likes of 39-year-old Chris Hunt, Shaun Ferguson, Daniel Hoogerwerf, Jake Hawkins and Scott Blanch.
“It’s only a trial,” McManus added.
“It’s a chance to have a look at all of them.
“We’ll work with what we’ve got.”
While his side plays at Dudley with a 3.45pm kick-off, the Mick Schmiedel-coached Greater Northern Tigress outfit meets Newcastle in a hit-out from 2.30pm.
Earlier in the day, the Tigers under-18s and under-16s contest second round Laurie Daley Cup and Andrew Johns Cup encounters at Morry Breen Oval, Wyong.
The youngsters kick off at 11am and have a couple of changes to the side that lost to North Coast at Aberdeen last Saturday.
Matt Ross returns from injury to run on at prop while Gabriel Stafa moves from the bench to a starting second-row position.
Brady Roser goes from the front-row to the interchange with Lachlan Bonnell on the bench as well after starting in the second-row last weekend.
The Darryl Rando-coached senior boys remain the same, the mentor sticking with the team that beat North Coast 30-22 in the opener.
- by Geoff Newling
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS UNDER-16S: 1 Riley Pennell, 2 Drewe Gilbert, 3 Tully Wholert, 4 Ryan Witherdin, 5 Jack Smyth, 6 Charlie Henderson, 7 Callum Dowell, 8 Matthew Ross, 9 Talon Harrington, 10 Sebastian Lawler, 11 Gabriel Stafa, 12 Logan Spinks, 13 Nathaniel Follington, 14 Jacob Cordina, 15 Lachlan Bonnell, 16 Brady Roser, 17 Harrison Vermuelen, 18 Riley Givney. Coach – Brett Jarrett
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS UNDER-18S: 1 Mitch Henderson, 2 Jesse Cadalbert, 3 Blake Johnston, 4 Corben Hampstead, 5 Dylan Smith, 6 Ethan Antzakles, 7 Pichai Dixon, 8 Mark Simon, 9 Harry Reid, 10 Jake Clydesdale, 11 Luke Smith, 12 Hayden Bull, 13 Sam Fechner, 14 Ned Chapman, 15 Alexander Lawrence, 16 Billy Youman, 17 Daniel McMillan, 18 Joash Boney. Coach – Darryl Rando
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS MEN (squad): Lincon Smith, Jake Hawkins, Ronin Hadden, Keiran Williams, Brady Benkovic, Ewin Bartholomew, Hayden Jaeger, Harlee Millgate, Tariq Miles, Chris Hunt, Brett Jarrett, Daniel Hoogerwerf, Lochlan Preston, Mitchell Doring, Clay Frendin, Scott Blanch, Shaun Ferguson, Tex Larimari, Matt Gillham, Liam Hatch, Ryan Ingram, Jayden Roseberg. Coach – Brad McManus, assistant coach – Richard Ingram
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS WOMEN (squad): Jess Baker, Amy Barraclough, Gaynor Blackadder, Shai Blackadder, Sarah Byrne, Kate Brown, Chloe Bayley, Lenikki Craigie, Hannah Crisp, Toni-Lee Clough, Tanika Darcy, Brooke Davis, Brooke Doyle, Nautica Eather, Anastasia Martin, Jess Morgan, Brooke O’Halloran, Shae Pemberton, Hannah Rando, Amber Russell, Abby Schmiedel, Sarah Stewart, Amelia Tunmena, Annie Wenner. Development squad members: Jayne-Lee Averillo, Taryneice Berry, Lucy Plowman. Coach – Mick Schmiedel