In ever-changing conditions at EW Moore Oval on Saturday afternoon, the Riverina Rhinos continued their preparation for the upcoming National Premier League season with a trial match against Narrabundah.
While the result of 2-2 wasn’t quite what coach Gabriel Abdala was looking for he was still able to take positives out of his side’s second trial game.
“We were after the win just to get a bit of confidence out of these preseason games but like everything within the trial season there are positive and negatives that you do take away,” he said.
“Positives that we take out of it we can play with the ball in possession, and we can move that ball really quickly within our final third into the middle third.
“We got a bit lost once we got into the opponents final third but in saying that we held the ball for the majority.”
The visitors took the lead against the run of play in the first half before Darren Bailey was able to get on the end of a perfectly weighted through ball to place one past the keeper to bring the scores level.
George Pavese was able to give the Rhinos the lead midway through the second half, but Narrabundah struck again late in the game to bring it level at two-all.
Despite the Rhinos having the bulk of the chances, they were unable to take advantage which left Abdala frustrated at the end of the 90 minutes.
“I'll be honest I take nothing away from Narrabundah they played well, but in that first half we should have had about five goals and then in that second half quite easily another four,” he said.
“It's just really disappointing that we couldn't find the back of the net but in saying that it comes with match experience.
“This is our second match within the trial period, and it's just one of these teething problems we need to try and sort.”
Despite the 2-2 draw, Abdala did praise the workload from his side throughout the game.
“I don't think there was one particular player that we could pinpoint that was fantastic they all put in a good shift,” he said.
The under 18s also continued their preparation for the 2018 NPL season with a warm-up game against local side Yoogali SC.
The younger boys were able to come away with a convincing 6-0 win as they look to build their confidence ahead of the season getting underway in a month.
When the NPL season starts the Rhinos will be taking on Tuggeranong United at EW Moore Oval on March 24 while the under 13s,14s and 16s all get their season underway this weekend when they take on Tuggeranong in Canberra.