West Wyalong knockout not just a dummy run for CYMS ahead of 2016 season
By NICK McGRATH
ORANGE CYMS captain-coach Mick Sullivan will take a full-strength side to the rich West Wyalong knockout next month, and he’s more confident than ever the Group 10 premiers are capable of taking it out.
Sullivan has taken the green and golds to West Wyalong every year since 2010, with the club’s best result an appearance in the final in 2011.
That year CYMS went down in extra time, losing the match 12-8 against Leeton.
Looking to at least return to the final in 2016, Sullivan appears set to unleash new recruits Mitch Davis, Brock McGarity and Brendan Cousins at the knockout and said with pre-season training ramping up this Sunday the green and golds were primed for an assault on the $12,000 knockout.
“This is the most confident I’ve been heading over there,” Sullivan said, the 2016 knockout beginning on Friday, February 27.
“The last few years we’ve gone over there with not a lot of training under our belts.
“We’re starting to prepare for it on Sunday and hopefully we’ll have a month’s worth of ball work done in the lead-up as well.”
The teams for the 2016 knockout were confirmed last week, with last year’s champions Goulburn Workers set to return this year alongside fellow Canberra Raiders Cup rivals Woden and Queanbeyan Roos.
Group Nine is heavily represented, with premiers Gundagai joined by 2014 knockout winners Albury, Southcity, Wagga Brothers, Wagga Kangaroos, Temora and Young.
Group 11 guns Forbes will compete, while Group 10 clubs Cowra and Oberon are on the competition’s waiting list.
It’s easily the highest calibre pre-season tournament in country rugby league, and Sullivan was banking on a solid draw to ensure CYMS venture deep into the knockout’s money games at Ron Crowe Oval.
Knockout spokesman Craig Sutton thought the heavy level of interest was a credit to the club and the facilities of the Mallee Men club.
“It’s fantastic to be full at this time of the year and not having to be searching for teams,” Sutton said.
“It shows the growing level of interest in the tournament and how it is conducted.
“It’s really exciting.”