NRL Victoria Men's First Grade RD 1 Preview
By Matthew Hughes
The 2019 NRL Victoria first Grade competition gets underway this Saturday, March 30. The competition is set to be hotly contested with 9 teams registered for the 2019 season.
The two new additions are the Melton Broncos and the North West Wolves. For the Broncos it will be their first time in the top division and will be looking to impress early. North West Wolves will make their return to first grade after a one-year stint in the Second Division in 2018.
The first round kicks off with some tantalising match ups. Werribee Bears, the 2018 Premiers, will face off against the Waverley Panthers at Fregon Reserve. The Bears have a chance to kick off their title defence with a win against a strong opponent. The Panthers however will be trying to make amends for a narrow Semi-finals exit last year against the Warriors.
The Casey Warriors who last year finished third, host the Northern Thunder at Casey Fields. The Thunder were competitive in most of their 2018 matches and an early win against the Warriors could set them up for a promising season.
At Bruce Comben Reserve, the Wolves face Altona Roosters in their return to the competition. The Wolves finished fifth in the second division last year, whilst the Roosters finished fifth in the first. The Wolves will be boosted by the inclusion of assistant coach Josh Kirk, who Coach Pete Russo believes will bring “good talk” to the halves.
In the final game, the Broncos are at Macpherson Park Sports Complex, for their debut game against the Truganina Rabbitohs. Truganina finished 6th last year, however were only two wins outside playing finals. The Broncos, playing at home would love to mark their ascension with a win first up.
Sunbury Tigers will start their season with a bye.
To check out the Round 1 Fixtures, click here: