Tim Ryan feels his Western Rams under-23 side is only going to get better after Saturday’s first trial match.
The new-look squad, bringing together a host of players who hadn’t even met prior to a couple of months ago, impressed at Forbes and downed Riverina 46-22 at Spooner Oval.
Ryan confessed he wasn’t taking a whole lot out of the match but was pleased to see combinations and plays coming together.
“It was only a trial but it was good to get out there after just having training,” he said.
“They learnt a bit about each other, there’s only so much you can learn at training and it was good to see little things like who has an offload, who’s got some speed and what outside backs support through the middle. Those kids of things and the contact too.
“For a lot of them it was their first hit-out.”
While the players learnt a lot from the game, Ryan discovered just as much.
As the Dubbo CYMS coach he is well aware of what people in that competition can produce but he admitted he hadn’t seen a lot of the Group 10 players in action.
He picked out Orange CYMS centre Lachlan Munro as a standout and he scored one of his side’s nine tries while Nyngan Tiger Sam Simmons was another to impress, scoring once and booting five conversions.
“Lachie Munro was probably our best out there in the centres and Sam Simmons is someone I’ve seen a lot of and that was the best I’ve seen him play,” Ryan said.
“He played at fullback and he’s a good kid so I was happy for him.”
Making the result more impressive is the fact Dubbo CYMS gun Alex Bonham and Parkes Spacemen livewire Joey Dwyer were both unavailable for the clash.
Jesse Wighton started from the bench but bagged a double in the clash – which was played over four 20-minute quarters – while Fishies recruit Corey Drew, Forbes’ Mitch Burke, Orange Hawks’ Ethan McKellar, Orange CYMS’ Ryan Griffin and Jordan Reynolds also got on the scoresheet.
“It was two reasonably similar teams for the first two quarters but the last two people were thrown here and there and the bench got a bit of a workout,” Ryan said.
“We’re just going to continue to get better.
“But if we want to have an impact we have got to improve fitness a lot, in my opinion, and work on the combinations.
“We had two halves not play on the weekend so we’ll try and get them in there and keep working on the combinations.”
The “attitude in defence” also pleased the coach but he added there is still a lot to be done.
Ryan’s Western Rams outfit has one more trial match in Sydney to put the finishing touches on its preparation for this year’s Country Championship campaign.