Blacks loses thirds to strengthen top grades

ON FIRE: Johnny Brown was one of Griffith's best in round one against Wagga Ag College at the Exies Oval. PHOTO: Anthony Stipo
ON FIRE: Johnny Brown was one of Griffith's best in round one against Wagga Ag College at the Exies Oval. PHOTO: Anthony Stipo

Away trips have been a problem in the past for the Griffith Blacks but coach Jason Waring-Bryant is hopeful a tough call made by the club will ensure numbers won’t be a problem going forward.

All the coaches and staff thought it was the best option to get rid of third grade and focus on firsts and seconds.

Blacks coach Jason Waring-Bryant

The Blacks play their first away game this Saturday against Albury where the first and second grade teams will play but there will be no third grade after the club decided to not field a McMullen Cup side this season due to lack of numbers.

“It was a major call,” Waring-Bryant said. 

“All the coaches and staff thought it was the best option to get rid of third grade and focus on firsts and seconds.

“We’ll get a few more guys for away games and make it a lot easier. 

“We want two big strong squads to have that can play home and away.”

The call hasn’t deterred any of the playing group but instead made them more determined, according to Waring-Bryant.

“Not really, everyone wants to stick around and have a go,” he said.

From the pre-season matches through to the first round loss to Wagga Ag College a fortnight ago, the Blacks have constantly been on the improve.

Waring-Bryant was hoping to take the side’s game to another level again by putting in the hard yards at training.

“We’re trying to get a few more kilometres in the legs and trying to make them work a bit harder at training to make it a bit easier out on the field,” he said.

“We’re trying to keep it simple and keep the guys interested so they keep coming back.

“Just doing the main things...getting all the basics right.”

This Saturday, Griffith will have to overcome not only Albury but the lengthy road trip that goes with the game.

“Long trips are hard ones because a lot of the boys get a bit sluggish on buses,” Waring- Bryant said.

“You have to try and break it up, leave early so you can take breaks and stretch the legs.”

In round one against the Aggies, Enoch Tia, Johnny Brown and Chris Latu were Griffith’s best.

BLACKS FIRST XV

  1. Semi Tafili
  2. Chris Latu (c)
  3. Ewan Morriss
  4. Andrew Madden
  5. Daniel McGreal
  6. Dav Francis
  7. Aistan Fidow
  8. Agustin De Notta
  9. Jason Waring-Bryant
  10. Teei Piawi
  11. Lindsay Maiava
  12. Manasa Rokomatoto
  13. Avealuga Maiava (vc)
  14. Johnny Brown
  15. Billy Maiava