Pre-season trials commence in Toowoomba

Several Toowoomba Rugby League teams lined up for their first trial matches of the new season at the weekend.

The headline game was the TRL’s A Grade representative team against the West Brisbane Panthers at Ken McKey Oval, Arana Hills.

Two separate TRL sides played on Saturday afternoon in 20-minute quarters, pleasing captain / coach Steve Franciscus.

In the first game, the TRL led 12-0 at halftime in stifling heat with West Panthers running out winners 16-12, scoring 16 unanswered points in the second stanza.

Both games were at an excellent standard with Matt Duggan, Ben Sullivan and Jason Wardrop having sound games, whilst Tom Boland, Chris Wilkes, Jacob Whittaker and Daniel Marsh also impressed.

At Cahill Park Sporting Complex, Gatton, the Hawks took on Ipswich Norths.

Similarly, this trial had two matches with the first game seeing the home side winning 22-4 with Norths Ipswich winning the second game 38-4. 

Hawks coach Shaun Hobson was very pleased with the trial, reporting that new signing Luke Nolan was solid, as was Bruce Milsom, Alex Groves and Pisao Foai.

Young Hawk Lachlan Gorman suffered a shoulder injury and probably won’t line-up for their next trial match in Beerwah against the Bulldogs in two weeks’ time.

At Club Pittsworth, the grand finalists took on the Western Mustangs Under 20s with the Danes running out winners 38-26.

Coach Ian Brackstone was happy with the trial with ‘comeback kid’ Kurtis Shayler impressing, as did Todd White and Jacob Little.

Daniel York and James Dempsey also enjoyed their time out in the centre. 

Pittsworth’s Under 18s took on the Goondiwindi Boars and produced a 26-26 draw.

The Danes’ next trial is at Noosa on February 24 against the Pirates in all three grades.

Mustangs coach Eugene Seddon was pleased with the game and thought the trial helped in the areas they can work on.

James Robinson, Aidan Kennedy and Blake Cullen were the Mustangs’ best whilst Michael Naseri suffered ligament damage and probably won’t play another trial game.

The Mustangs’ Under 18s and Under 20s team will face off against their Ipswich Jets counterparts next Saturday ahead of the Broncos v Titans NRL trial at Clive Berghofer Stadium.