Tigers prepare for season opener


The Greater Northern Tigers’ look to climb back up the Laurie Daley Cup table in 2023 after two impressive trial match victories.

The under-18 line-up made it to the state final in 2021 thanks to a 16-10 semi-final victory over the Western Rams however faced a 24-14 defeat to the Central Coast Roosters in the decider.

Last year, they looked impressive when capturing an early 24-16 lead over the North Coast Bulldogs only to suffer a tight 32-28 defeat. They would finish the year with a 0-5 record.

However there was plenty of upside for the line-up this month ahead of next week’s season opener at Coffs Harbour.

Greater Northern Tigers’ coach Daryl Rando admits he has been pleased with his side’s trial match wins over the Western Rams (24-8) at Denman and Newcastle Maitland Knights (16-12) at Muswellbrook.

“It is always good to have a couple of wins for the boys to gain confidence,” Rando told The Hunter River Times.

“The boys who are 18 this year did not get to celebrate a win in the under-18s last year or the under-16s the year before so it is a good confidence booster for them.

“We still have a fair bit of work to do, especially in our tackling, but if we can improve each week it can give us a stepping stone to give us an opportunity.”

Greater Northern Tigers area is made up of clubs and players from Group 21 as well as Group 4 (an area from Narrabri to Tamworth) and Group 19 (an area from Moree to Armidale).

Though crowds have continued to cheer familiar faces from Group 21 clubs, Rando assures he will be picking his best available side for Round 1 regardless of each player’s origin.

“I want to treat everyone the same because we are virtually one club,” Rando continued.

“Everyone brings something to the table and at the end of the day the Group 21 boys have to combine with the Group 4 and 19 boys and combine as one unit.

“They respect each other, enjoy their footy and time together then they will win more games than lose hopefully.”

Play tough in the middle.

Dominate the ruck area (with and without the ball).

Respect your teammate.

They are just simple instructions from Greater Northern Tigers’ Laurie Daley Cup coach Darryl Rando.

He hopes his squad will embark on a successful month if they can execute the game’s simplicities.

“You push up and back up you win more games than you lose,” he explained after his side’s 16-12 trial match win over the Newcastle Maitland Knights.

“We’re looking forward to the game at Scone Park but at the end of the day it is a home game for the whole side and that doesn’t matter if it is here or Moree or Tamworth or Muswellbrook or wherever.

“We have to perform wherever we play.”

The group is also boasting with talent which may emulate the pathways of recent Tigers Jake Clydsdale (Canberra Raiders) and Mitch Henderson (Newcastle Knights).

“I think there are a couple in this group with potential but they have to prove it over the next few weeks now,” he concluded.

Greater Northern Tigers’ 2023 fixture

Round 1 (February 4) vs. North Coast Bulldogs at Coffs Harbour

Round 2 (February 11) vs. Newcastle Maitland Knights at Scone

Round 3 (February 18) vs. Central Coast Roosters at Wyong

Round 4 (February 25) vs. Northern Rivers Titans at Tamworth

Round 5 (March 4) vs. Western Rams at Farrer