Even Group 21 competition for 2023?
BY ALEX TIGANI
A season opening draw between Scone and Muswellbrook has prompted Group 21 water cooler conversations across the region.
The Thoroughbreds’ two-year winning streak came to an end at the 79th minute at Scone Park, the 16-16 result has knocked the powerhouse out of the top two of the first-grade table for the first time in recent memory.
Such was the surprise of the result that many Singleton and Denman fans had turned their attention away from their own first grade fixture to watch the live scoring updates from Scone Park.
The Devils ran away with a dominant 42-18 win and will now play Greta Branxton in the top of the table clash following the Colts’ 56-10 triumph over Aberdeen on Saturday.
“Obviously that was our first game together and there are plenty of things to work on, that is for sure,” incoming Denman Devils first grade coach Josh Miles shared.
“When we had the ball and found a little bit of shape we looked pretty good.”
Prior to the opening round, we asked the six first grade coaches for their team to beat, player of the year and wooden spoon predictions.
A majority declined to answer the latter, has such has been the improvement shown by most sides across the pre-season.
“You can see everyone has recruited pretty well across the six teams,” he added.
“Even Singleton looked really good today, they have a few big boys and they will go really well for the rest of the year.”
|GROUP 21 FIRST GRADE PRE-SEASON PREDICTIONS|
|GROUP 21 CLUB||FIRST GRADE COACH||TEAM TO BEAT||PLAYER FO THE YEAR PREDICTION|
|ABERDEEN TIGERS**||PAUL BRAMLEY||N/A||N/A|
|DENMAN DEVILS||JOSH MILES||SCONE||Ryan Hackshaw (Scone)|
|MUSWELLBROOK RAMS||ADAM BARTHOLOMEW*||SCONE||Cameron Moran (Muswellbrook Rams)|
|SCONE THOROUGHBREDS||ADAM CLYDSDALE||GRETA BRANXTON||Isaac Austin (Scone)|
|SINGLETON GREYHOUNDS||MARK NEWMAN||SCONE||Brady Hammond (Greta Branxton)|
|GRETA BRANXTON COLTS||BRADY HAMMOND||SCONE||Blake Andrews (Singleton)|
|*Adam Bartholomew shares Muswellbrook’s coaching duties with Robbie Swain.|
** No response from the Aberdeen Tigers.