Discouraged? No chance.
Central West Schoolboys knew Saturday's showdown with their Samoan counterparts was always going to be tough, so when they came from Bathurst's Anne Ashwood Park after suffering a heavy defeat they weren't down in the dumps.
The 79-7 scoreline said a lot for the quality of the Samoan outfit, who Central West Rugby CEO Matt Tink said prior to the game is sure to have some future internationals in the mix.
When we actually held the ball there were moments that brought smiles to the coaches' faces.Central West Schoolboys coach Shane Cantrill
The home side never backed away from the contest but at times had nervous passages of play which led to more Samoan points.
Central West coach Shane Cantrill - assisted by Bathurst Bulldogs' Scott Johnston, Adam Dwyer and Phil Tonkin - said the mood after the game was positive.
"They were a lot more positive than I thought they would be after being beaten by that amount," he said.
"They wanted to see how they'd go against these boys, who were just that touch bigger, quicker and older. Playing against a team without structure, just playing ad-lib rugby, was really good for our boys to get them to realise that they've got to react to things that little bit quicker.
"It's good for them to see where they're at and where it's possible for them to get to.
"Samoa's breakdown play was minimal and they kept the ball alive. For a team who are quick and enthusiastic it was always going to be a tough ask for our guys."
Central West's lone try came courtesy of Kinross and NSW Schoolboys prop Will Smith, who took a quick tap from close range and caught the Samoans napping.
The method of Smith's try may have been straightforward but Cantrill said the minutes leading up to it featured some of their best rugby of the day.
"We controlled the phases beforehand really well and that's exciting that our kids could get up that end of the ground like that and do the business," he said.
"They'd only come together for a couple of training runs so it was really pleasing to see.
"We did have a lot of dropped ball during the game, so we were our own worst enemies in a lot of stages during that game, but in saying that Samoa were putting a lot of pressure on us to make those situations occur.
"When we actually held the ball there were moments that brought smiles to the coaches' faces."
Cantrill is hopeful Central West Rugby Union can continue to bring high-level international opposition out to the region to help expose more rural players to tough rugby.
"I'd say some of those boys aren't too far away [from senior international games]," he said of the Samoan side.
"They had a really sharp backline and some of their loose forwards were really dynamic and they were around the paddock the whole time.
"It would be great for people to keep a hold of the program from the weekend and in a few years to come, maybe at the next World Cup, you might see a few names from there on your TV screens."
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