Kiwis fly in to bolster Black and Whites

Group 20 rugby league

THE reinforcements have arrived for the Black and Whites with the club's four new Kiwi imports set to show their wares in tomorrow's trial match against the Hay Magpies.

New Zealand quartet Jericho Tanuvasa, David Uasila'a, Sameul Delavakavu and Andre Evagelia hit town last week and trained under captain-coach David Milne for the first time on Tuesday night.

The former Canberra Raiders winger said he was impressed with what he saw from the new players.

"They look impressive - they're fit, fast and big," Milne said.

"Hopefully they're good with the ball, too. 

"We'll see how we go this weekend. 

"I'm not going to make any judgments before I see them play - that's the same as everyone."

Evagelia was not one of the original six signings announced by the club late last year but joined the other three players for the move to Griffith and will get his opportunity to stake his claim for a spot in the squad, while Clinton Lilo will arrive at a later date.

Milne said he was personally looking forward to his first match since last year's Queensland Cup grand final, in which he helped the Mackay Cutters to their debut premiership with a win over Easts Tigers.

"I haven't played for ages so I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove, seeing what we've got there and how people are going to play with each other," he said.

"I've got a team sketched up, but it's just a matter of how we're going to run it. We haven't cemented any of the positions in the kick-off team yet."

Meanwhile, the practice match comes at a welcome time for Hay captain-coach Phil Crosby, who said he gleaned little out of the Magpies' performance at the West Wyalong Knockout last weekend.

Hay drew Group Nine outfit Cootamundra first up and were beaten 8-0 in dreadful wet conditions at Ron Crowe Oval.

"It was knock-ons every set from both teams and the luck of the bounce, at the end of the day," Crosby said.

"Even watching (the other games) was a bit of a letdown but we gave it a go and didn't embarrass ourselves.

"I know the Black and Whites have a few new players and it'd be good to just have a proper runout.

"We've got a couple of new English lads and it's all new to them - a different experience to what they're used to and a different style of game to what it is back home.

"We've got decent numbers so it's just about figuring out who'll be best for each position now."

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