Group 20 rugby league
DAVID Milne would field his strongest Black and Whites line-up for tomorrow night's Paul Kelly Memorial Shield semi-final against Hay - if only he knew what it what it looked like.
The Griffith captain-coach is still sorting through a bevy of players, new and old, and will continue to experiment until he finds a combination that can turn the wooden spooners into a strong, competitive outfit.
The early signs are good after two wins from two at Wade Park last week but the former Canberra Raiders winger is not getting ahead of himself just yet.
"I don't know what my best side is, still. We've only played three games," Milne said.
"We'll probably try and put a decent side in but I don't know what I've got.
"I've got heaps of players but I can only use so many.
"It's a matter of still seeing what we've got, how they go with each other, and matching different people with different people.
"We'll see what works best."
The Black and Whites beat Darlington Point-Coleambally 22-6 and then toppled minor premiers Leeton 18-12 in the preliminary round of the competition, and Milne came away more convinced than ever that Griffith's darkest days are behind them.
Talented halfback Stephen Broome earned praise after scoring three tries against the Greens, leading his new boss to describe his performance as "unbelievable".
"Everyone's going to have their time to shine. They've just got to grab it when they get it," Milne said.
"It's only a knockout, you can't take too much out of it.
"Until we play a full, 80-minute game, we're not going to know how good we are.
"But we're impressed with what we've got there and we think we can give the competition a fair shake."
Tomorrow's semi-final provides a good opportunity for the Black and Whites to test their progress - only three weeks ago, they travelled to Hay for a trial match and despite an encouraging first half, fell 54-22.
"The more we play the better we're going to get. That's just how footy goes," Milne said.
"We're not going to be at our best until at least halfway through the season but if we can improve each week, that's what we're looking to do."
The only definite Griffith absentee for the rematch is Graham Murray, who is nursing a rib injury.