BLAYNEY Bears captain-coach Jake Anlezark is remaining coy about his side’s chances ahead of the 2013 Group 10 season, seeing only positives out of his side’s first hit-out of the season at West Wyalong’s Ron Crowe Oval.
Kicking off their Group 10 comeback with a crack at the $12,000 West Wyalong Knockout last Friday night, the Bears went down 16-6 against tough Group 20 opponent Tullibigeal-Lakes United.
It wasn’t the comeback the Bears faithful dreamt of, but they’re back.
And Anlezark couldn’t be happier.
“It was great,” Anlezark said.
“We were clearly up against a side that had played a lot of footy together. The boys are naturally disappointed with the loss, but that’s part of footy.”
The Bears took a largely understrength side to West Wyalong.
Still the signs were promising.
Training TLU 6-0 at half-time, Blayney came out the stronger of the two in the second stanza and a length-of-the-field intercept try to Leigh Monaghan and a successful Jesse Nixon conversion brought the scores level at 6-all.
TLU hit back shortly after to again lead, this time 10-6, and a try with 40 seconds left on the clock took the final score to 16-6.
Anlezark watched on from the stands, along with the majority of the side’s starting pack.
The former Toyota Cup star said he was happy with the way his side, led by former CYMS backrower Dane Howarth, performed in its first hit-out as a unit.
He said the only way was up.
“It’s only the start of the year and, having grown up together, all of the boys get along really well,” Anlezark said.
“The whole idea behind getting together before Christmas to train was to get a bit of mateship and camaraderie going amongst the boys and we’re getting that now.”
The Bears will be in action at the Bathurst Knockout on March 15 and 16.
Anlezark said the squad was looking forward to the competition proper when King George Oval hosts its first game of the 2013 season against Cowra on April 7.
“All of the boys are keen as. We do collision drills at training and all of the guys get stuck into it. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when we get some actual targets in front of us,” the new coach said.