NEW Orange Hawks captain-coach James Wynne will get his first chance to assess the early season form of the two blues when they take on Group 10 returners Oberon Tigers in the first round of the Bathurst Knockout tonight.
Wynne will be partnered by Kyle Byrnes in the halves for his new side’s first hit-out of 2012 and admits Hawks will be scratchy to begin the year.
But the Gunnedah boy was hopeful Hawks can compete.
“Definitely. That’s the goal for us at the Bathurst Knockout,” Wynne said.
“Regardless of the results, we’d obviously like to go well, but we’re just hoping to build a few combinations.”
If they win, Hawks will take on the winner of the Lithgow and Bathurst St Pat’s game.
But Wynne’s main focus was Oberon.
“To tell you the truth I probably don’t know a lot about any team (in the Group 10 competition),” he said.
“I know (Oberon) had a good trial against Mudgee. I’m sure being their first year back in Group 10 they’ll be keen to put in a strong showing.”
Hawks will take on Oberon with a largely different side to the one that finished 2011.
Last year’s skipper Todd Barrow will miss the Oberon clash with work commitments while new signings Garrett Crossman and Brock McGarity are expected to play.
With so many fresh faces, Wynne said continuity will be a problem tonight.
“I think it will all year,” Wynne said.
“We have nine guys on shift (work). But to take a positive out of negative we’ll probably have a few blokes get a chance to play first grade that might not normally have the opportunity.”
Hawks take on Oberon at 7pm tonight.