Jack Kelly on the burst for Macquarie in their under-18s win over Nyngan on Saturday. Photo: CHERYL BURKERUGBY LEAGUE
DUBBO Macquarie under-18s coach admits he is starting from scratch with a young group of players but he was a happy man over the weekend after his side started its 2013 campaign with a 48-6 win over Nyngan at Apex Oval.
The Raiders crossed the line 10 times and only conceded one try, with the latter being the most pleasing aspect for Greg Edwards.
With just a handful of players returning from last year’s grand final side, the coach has a blank canvas to work with but admits he is happy with how the side has started.
“We’ve still got a bit of work to do and we’re a young side but I saw a lot of good things from them,” Edwards said.
“Most of these kids have stepped up from the under-16s last year and it is a challenge to get them to adapt to under-18s but they’ve started well.
“We don’t have a lot of size in the side but we do have speed and we will be a team that can score a lot of points.
“On Saturday we did that but for me the most pleasing thing was we defended well and only let them score once.”
Emphasising Edwards’ point is the fact that most of the tries were scored by outside backs while Janus Walford, a former winger thrown into the forwards, also bagged a four-pointer.
Macquarie’s discipline lacked at times and at one stage they were reduced to 12 men when Jai Dunn was sin-binned for backchat and Edwards admitted he will discuss that with his team.
“That’s probably the area we need to work on most. We gave away silly penalties at times,” he said.
“Nothing malicious, but just silly penalties that let them get field position and made things more difficult for us.
“We can’t afford to do that against the benchmark sides like CYMS, Parkes and Forbes so we want to get that out of our system.
“It’s a challenge but the boys are a great bunch who all want to learn and it’s easier to work with kids like that.”
DUBBO MACQUARIE 48 (Alex Boney 2, Warren Dodd, Jarrin Fernando, Kenneth Knight, Janus Walford, Steve Merritt, Jai Dunn, Duane Gordon, Jayden Powell tries; Merritt 4 goals) def NYNGAN TIGERS 6 (Jackson William-Hedges try, goal)
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