Young Roos impress in Hay hitout

By Jamie Lowe

The Deniliquin Rovers thirds and fourths footy sides both travelled across to Hay for their respective practice matches on Saturday.

The games served as good preparation for the upcoming Picola & District League season, with the Roos set to return to competition footy this weekend.

The day started with the Rovers’ fourths facing off against the Lions.

Coach Peter Wills said he was quite impressed with his side’s performance, saying that the Roos finished in front 12.10 (82) to 5.6 (36).

‘‘It was a good hitout, with the scoreboard going and the clubrooms open to help match that real game day feel, while also practicing social distancing protocols’’ he said.

‘‘It was an incredible day and the volunteers at Hay should be proud of their effort.

‘‘The game was good fun for everyone. We had 23 players each, so we played all of them on the field for the full four quarters.

‘‘We actually played 20 minute quarters as well, and everyone was pretty exhausted at the end.

‘‘We started the game with five goals to zip but by the end everyone was pretty tired and scoring dried up.

‘‘It was a good test heading into the season and the main thing was that nobody was injured and everyone had a ball.

‘‘The day really showed just how important sport is to juniors and we were so glad to have it back.’’

It was a much tougher affair for the Rovers thirds, coming up against a strong Lions line-up that included about six players who would have moved up to senior footy this season.

Coach Adam Bodey said his side would not play a harder game for the rest of this year.

‘‘Hay had a very handy side. We allowed a few of their 18 year-olds to play as we had one 18 year-old also keen to play,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a really good test for us, particularly because we haven’t been allowed to do a lot of physical work at training.

‘‘Our captain Kaiden Joss was unreal all day and first year thirds player Alvin Cooper was impressive in the ruck.

‘‘Nick Stubbings was solid at full back and Will Martin also played well in defence and in the ruck.

‘‘Ray Murphy gave his usual solid output as well.’’

Bodey said there were a couple of other players who caught his eye with Tom Banks, who was set to return to his home club Mathoura this year, and Moama’s Khy Stovell impressing him.

‘‘With Mathoura not competing this year we were lucky enough to have Tom come back to the Rovers again this year,’’ he said.

‘‘He was super impressive on Saturday, as he was for us last year.

‘‘It was also a bonus that he convinced his mate Khy to come across and join us as well.''

Thirds onballer Raymond Murphy breaks through a Hay tackle.
Fourths player Jerrah Caruso gets her kick away on the run.
Liam East loads up for a thumping kick in the fourths game.
Tyson Willis looks to avoid a tackler in the fourths.