Tigers caught unawares as Young Saints march to a different tune

YOUNG Saints officials have given Central West AFL general manager Tony Lewis a guarantee this weekend’s deferred round three clash with the Orange Tigers will “definitely be played”.

No one, though, has told the Tigers.

Speaking on Monday to the Central Western Daily, Lewis revealed he’d been in contact with Young and was of the belief this weekend’s clash would be re-scheduled for May 11, the Sunday following the Central West AFL’s representative match against the Northern Riverina at Wade Park.

“Young just can’t get the numbers this weekend,” Lewis said, with the Saints fielding first grade and under 18s teams in the 2014 CWAFL competition.

“They’ve got 23 senior players and if they lose six of those they just can’t pluck a few from reserve grade. They’re not prepared to play any of their under 18s players because they’re a bit young at this stage. 

“The match will be played, though. They’ve given me that commitment.”

However, Orange Tigers president Luke Whitton says he hasn’t been given that same commitment from the Saints.

To Tigers officials, Young has forfeited their round three clash.

“At this stage we don’t believe Young are making much of an attempt to find a suitable date to play the match,” Whitton said.

“We’ve offered to play the match on a Sunday, to go to Young on Saturday and then have them come here on a later date, but as far as our club is concerned at this stage Young have forfeited.”

The CWAFL’s other round three game - Dubbo Demons against the Bathurst Bushrangers at Dubbo - will go ahead as scheduled.

Whitton was disappointed the clash won’t be held as planned on Saturday at Country Club Oval.

“In AFL the Anzac Day weekend holds special significance and it’s unfortunate Young don’t see that so we can tap into that and promote the game in the region,” the Tigers boss said.

Lewis, however, said consecutive long weekends had thrown a spanner in the CWAFL’s draw.

“We traditionally don’t like playing on long weekends, but with Easter and Anzac Day falling on consecutive weeks it’s made it difficult to work. Young did say before the season started they would struggle for players on this weekend,” Lewis added.

As did each of the other major winter codes, the CWAFL had a general bye over the Easter long weekend.

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