There were plenty of new faces appearing for the Whites in their trial against Gungahlin. About 30 players were rotated in the senior trial while the Colts had another 20 wandering on and off the field. Another 20 players were unavailable due to either ACT under 20 commitments or the Brumby Runners.
In the Colts Isaiah Latu has the makings of a class centre and half/utility back Riley Hughes is set for higher duties as the year progresses.Half back Ben O’Halloran is another classy player. Two players who did not receive many opportunities last year, Damian Tuoro and Jason Wirangi, proved their starting credentials. Wirangi has moved to the front row and looks comfortable. The Whites do have a shortage in the front row department throughout the grades.
Colts hooker Matt Taylor looks the goods as did Neori’s little brother Noa as a flanker or number eight. Most impressive was Jake Powley at five eighth and Aiden Agnew at fullback. Both have trained hard in the off-season and they are the go-to men in the side.
Noa’s big brother Neori showed why he is such a highly ranked footballer. His contribution against the Eagles is the start of a standout season for the club’s number one prop.
Unsung locks Josh Townsend and Tony Tarlinton put up their hands as genuine first graders. Townsend had a wretched 2016 season with injuries but has come back a bit bigger and confident.
It was also pleasing to see Ben Darmody taking the step from colts into the grades with ease and hopefully this season will be his coming of age as a footballer.
The next outing is the Cowra Tens on Saturday with two teams entered.