Mudgee president Jared Robinson has questioned the Bathurst knockout draw his side has been dished up on Friday night but says the 'short end of the stick' treatment the Dragons cop is something he's used to.
Robinson's Dragons take on defending premiers CYMS in round one of the 2018 pre-season tournament at Carrington Par, which essentially means his side, and CYMS for that matter, has to play an additional game at the knockout just to reach level pegging with seven of the other clubs in the group.
He’s fuming, and said the Dragons can consider themselves outcasts or sorts in Group 10.
“We were a bit unlucky throughout the process. We seem to get the short end of the stick a bit, to be honest,” he said, Panthers winning the 2017 and 2016 titles.
“We’re the black sheep in Group 10.”
On the flip side of Mudgee’s tough draw, Panthers, in their own knockout, play last year’s wooden spooners Blayney in their round one clash on Friday night.
The men in black played St Pat’s in a first-up derby in 2017 but had round one knockout byes in 2016 and 2015.
The draw is done randomly, the Panthers club says.
Robinson said despite the draw, he was keen to see if the Dragons can continue on from the pleasing, four-place finish the Mudgee top side scored at last weekend’s nines.
“There’s prize money at the end of it but we’ll just take it how it comes,” Robinson said.
“It’s another footy game in the pre-season and another chance to blow out the cobwebs and get a few (kilometres) in the legs.
“If we happen to lose on Friday then so be it. Obviously the more games you win, the more match practice you get but it’s definitely not the be all and end all for us.”
Robinson said he was keen to watch the likes of Lee Hicks and new recruit Chanse Burgess at the knockout, while the returning Jack Afamasaga was also a likely starter for Mudgee.