IF you stopped in to catch a glimpse of the Central West colts’ clash with Southern Districts in Bathurst last Saturday, you probably would of thought there was more on the line than just trial form and runs in the legs.
It was heated, had plenty of tries and both sides didn’t take a backward step.
In the end, Southern Highlands proved too clinical in a five-tries-to-one victory over the home team, with the visitors’ preparation - they’ve trained twice a week since Christmas - giving them an edge over the young Blue Bulls. Amid a couple of “dust ups” and plenty of aggression, Central West co-coach Steve Hamson was happy with the willingness of his players, however, with 31 colts raring to go, continuity throughout the squad’s first run became a challenge.
“They were just better drilled than us,” Hamson said.
“It was only our first run and it’s on the back of two training sessions.
“There were positive signs, but by virtue of the numbers we had, the match was as much about trying to give everyone a run as it was about winning the game.
“Had we picked a side and stuck with it, we probably would have gone close to winning. But we had to give everyone an opportunity to put their best foot forward before the squad is cut next week, and I think we did that.”
Orange City’s Luke Cullinane was impressive for Central West while Emu Will Collis and Lions pair Ben Wright and Terry Brown all shone in a beaten side.
Hamson and fellow mentor John Hamilton are this year running with the philosophy of match fitness is better than training, and as a result will this weekend run the 31-man squad in an opposed session at Orange’s Waratahs Sportsground.
The squad will then be trimmed on Saturday night before heading to Grenfell a week later to tackle the Canberra Royals.
“With a bit of luck we’ll have two more games and the Orange City 10s before we get into things,” Hamson said.