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Without several key players in all grades the Whites were put to the test by Tuggeranong. The visitors had recent Brumbies Isaac Thompson and Jarrod Butler on the field and they provided plenty.
Without JR Morgan, Neori Nadruku and Carl Elliott the home side had a fresh-faced prop, Dan Penca at hooker, used a colt Isaiah Latu on the wing and moved flanker Jake Holland to the centre.
The consequence was a Whites’ team without any rhyme or rhythm.
Back rower Sokai Tai was the standout and five eighth Mitch Douch tried his heart out. The highlight for the Whites was birthday boy Billy Chalker converting a Dan Penca try at the end of the game. Chalker had to deal with the Happy Birthday singing from the Col Maxwell verandah as he prepared for the kick.
The performance of the reserve grade was better with Jamie Marmont at five eighth calling the shots. Penetration came from fullback Riley Ahern and winger Angus Balmaks. Both made long runs and kept popping up around the paddock to create space. The Jancevski brothers added plenty to the pack in their first real hit out for the season.
Colts were also missing many and suffered the consequence. Yet they had many good phases of play and were committed. Five eighth Brad Winchester is growing in confidence and is quality, while winger Kyle Hanns and forward Ryan Bol were the best on ground.
A combined thirds and fourths played razzle and dazzle football despite not having played together in 2017. It was good to see Chris McRoberts back at half and Michael Doyle at five eighth.
Coaches Luke Cochrane and Michael Dyer were all smiles after the game. The only issue is getting more numbers for the lower grades for this Saturday’s opening round at Campese against Wests.