Tahs to take on Greens at Exies

Ben Vitucci in action for the Waratahs.
Ben Vitucci in action for the Waratahs.

The skies are set to open up leading into the weekend – the Bureau of Meteorology predicts between 20mm and 35mm of rain on Friday – and Griffith Waratah Tigers co-coach Chris Hanneman welcomes it.

The Waratahs take on the Leeton Greens under lights on Saturday and Hanneman believes the wet weather will ensure the match is a close one.

And while the injured coach backs his players to win the arm wrestle, he said his side can’t afford to give the Greens too much pill.

“Our errors and discipline,” Hanneman said when asked what his side needed to work on for the Leeton game.

“They are a handy side and if we give them too much ball on a wet track, they’ll take the game away from us.

“If we can compete our sets and sting them with our defence, we can get the win.”

The Waratahs missed enforcer Niko Lelei due to injury last week.

The loss of Lelei, along with Hanneman, leaves a big hole in the middle for the Waratahs but Hanneman said plenty of players have put their hands up this year to fill the gap.

“I think Ricey’s having a big year, he’s stepped up and is a bit of a leader in the forwards,” he said.

“Junior has come over from Yenda and stepped up and Benny Vitucci has been good for us.”

Both Leeton and the Waratah Tigers lost their last Group 20 matches to Darlington Point-Coleambally.

It marked the third loss of the year for the Griffith outfit and Leeton president Bill Arnold was wary of the wounded tiger.

“I’m expecting a hard game against Waratahs, they’re a sleeping giant,” he said.

“I watched them at the tail end of the season and they were a premiership force and I really believe they will be again. They have a good makeup and have just signed Sam Everett. I know a bit about him. He’s a big body and a good ball player.”

Helped by a bye in the Group 20 competition last weekend, the Greenies will welcome back a handful of players on Saturday with a number of others not far off a return.

“We’ve got Josh Fisher coming back in, he didn’t play against Darlington Point,” Arnold said.

“His brother, Ben Fisher, I’m not sure if he’s available. Matt Arnold is still out – he’s overseas and our club stalwart, Shayne Roden, he’s still in recovery.

“Clinton Green’s back in. He played against the Point but had a problem with his hamstring and he adds a bit of experience in the halves.”

With all going to plan, Leeton will also have the services of Riverina representative trio Danny Maskill, Jayke Stevenson and Rhys Wilesmith.

The rep players will play for Riverina in West Wyalong then head to Griffith. Under 16s starts at 2.15pm with first grade to run on at 6pm. A band will be playing at the Exies from 8pm.