Blacks roll out welcome mat for Tuskers

Rugby union

THE Griffith Blacks are confident of continuing their strong start to the Southern Inland season when they resume action tomorrow at home against Temora.

They might be coming off the bye last weekend but the Blacks have lost little momentum, with four first-graders getting 80 minutes under their belts in second grade against Deniliquin.

Andries de Meyer led the way with a player's player award-winning performance, while Lafaele Lale, Max Ravouvou and Jason Waring-Bryant were all solid in the narrow 27-22 loss.

All bar Lale will line up against the Tuskers, with coach Seru Rogo preferring to nurse his first-choice front-rower - who is still recovering from a shoulder injury - back to full fitness through second grade.

"He's just putting the pain away and playing and training every week," Rogo said.

"We want to take it easy on him so he's right at the business end of the season when we really need him."

Lale will be joined by another regular first-grader, Dan McGreal, in the reserves while Luke Ratu has been promoted to the seniors.

"It's hard - everyone wants to play first grade but you can only play 15," Rogo said.

"I've had to talk them through it."

Temora won the Romano Cup last year and are coached by former Griffith favourite Apenisa Tudulu, who won a premiership with the Blacks in the 1980s.

Rogo said he was looking forward to renewing acquaintances with him.

"They've got all their players back in the last couple of weeks so they're picking up slowly," he said.

"They've got a really exciting backline as well and Apenisa will prepare them well to come up against us."

Tomorrow is Griffith's Ladies Day, with all women who attend the match at the Coro Club to be pampered with wine, champagne and nibbles at a special VIP tent manned with wait staff.

First grade kicks off at 3.15pm with the women's seven-a-side clash to begin at 2.45pm, the reserves at 1.30pm and the under 17s at 12.30pm.

Entry is free with full catering and bar facilities available for the general public.

POWERHOUSE: Griffith's Marika Vunibaka in action against Wagga City.

POWERHOUSE: Griffith's Marika Vunibaka in action against Wagga City.


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