The Singleton Greyhounds head to Scone Park this Sunday for Round 1 of our local competition and as they go around again we are once again privileged to have our league writer, Darren Ward, give us an insight.
It has been a long, hot then wet 2017 pre-season for the Pirtek Singleton Greyhounds but it all comes to a head this Sunday when the Dog’s travel to Scone Park to tackle the Thoroughbreds in four absorbing grades for Round 1 of the Group 21 Rugby League season.
The Ourcare First grade side with Jye Bayley and Ben Thorley at the helm will be hoping to field a strong - experienced side to get their season off to the desired start. Standing out in the summer months in particular have been Chris Martin, Russell Richards and Jake Smith all of whom have set the tempo for the squad on the training paddock. The younger brigade including Mitchell Nott, Adam Hamilton, Will Neuwenhuise and Tom Johnson have also impressed with their work ethic.
A couple of weeks ago, Singleton took an under strength squad to Aberdeen for a trial that was transferred to McKinnon Field after heavy rain caused the game to be shifted from Pirtek Park. The Tigers, fielding a large mobile pack led by former Country prop forward Josh Schmeidel, proved too strong winning 26-nil in a game that featured at least 30 penalties and no less than six players in the sin-bin. It wasn’t a great performance by Singleton even allowing for the farcical nature of the contest as the game was ruined by the stoppages and incessant penalties.
It was a game of few highlights but one to emerge was the performance of new signing 19 year old Hayden Yates (Cessnock) who came to the Greyhounds looking for an opportunity in the top grade, no doubt he’ll get one if that small sample size is anything to go by.
Following the restructure of senior representative football in the Country Rugby League, Group 21 announced its inaugural Under 23 team to play in the new representative system. Congratulations to Will Neuwenhuise, Adam Hamilton and Thomas Johnson who were selected from the Greyhounds roster. With the NRL Under 20 competition ceasing next year, it will be interesting to see how this concept takes hold with the aim of providing an alternative pathway to the elite level of the game.
The Remondis Group Reserve Grade side will take on rivals Scone for their Round 1 encounter. The team, led by Jacob Rinkin and Chris Martin will have somewhat of a new look in 2017. In recent times the Greyhounds have had the wood over Scone but each new season brings about the uncertainty of where your team is at. Hopefully Singleton will be at the pointy end of the competition once again in 2017.
The Singleton Tyre Centre Under 18’s have plenty of cattle and plenty of talent in 2017. With all junior rep football now over the team will be able to field a strong line-up from the get-go. Managing a large list has always been the difficulty for Singleton in recent years and this year will be no different. Coaches Brett Williamson and Darren Ward are confident a positive team culture will see this team reach its full potential and prove difficult to beat in a small yet competitive competition this year.
The Entire Concrete Ladies League-tag side are another team with plenty of new faces that are taking in the words of wisdom from Coach Matt Kenny for an improved performance in 2017. Scone have been a dominant force since the introduction of the ladies game several years ago so the task won’t be an easy one, particularly on their home turf. I expect the girls to grow into a quality outfit as the year progresses.
Don’t forget the Joker Draw every Friday evening at the Clubhouse hotel, the jackpot figure is already approaching the $2,000 mark, tickets on sale from 5:30pm. Join us for the after match function also following Sundays Round 1 games, see you at the game.
Round 1 Sunday April 22 @ Scone Park
- First Grade: Scone V Singleton @ 2:00pm
- Reserve Grade: Scone V Singleton @ 12:35pm
- Under 18: Scone v Singleton @ 11:20am
- Ladies L-Tag: Scone V Singleton @ 10:20am