Group 16 under lights

THE Grand Hotel Group 16 pre-season rugby league finals will be under lights in Bega tomorrow. 

Four headline acts will launch with a rematch of last year’s league tag grand final. 

The reigning premiers, the Bega Chicks, will take on the Cooma Fillies from 3pm. 

Roosters president Garry Arkin said the Fillies are “still seething from their two-year unbeaten run coming to a head in the grand final”.

Arkin said the Chicks are missing Trudi Badullovich, but will be keen for a win. 

“[Trudi’s] experience and great knowledge of the game will be sorely missed, but Coach Andrew Badullovich is confident the girls, who have several new faces in their squad, will give another bold showing,” Arkin said. 

“Craig Schofield the Cooma Coach is confident his side can turn the tables and he will look to the likes of Ingram and Lee as his trump cards.”

 The game will play out a clash of the titans from the two top league-tag squads. 

The Greg Thistleton Building under 18s final starts at 4pm. 

The 18s too will feature the Bega and Cooma as the Roosters take on the Colts. 

The Colts will arrive in force to take on a fresh Bega side, who have put up two bold showings in recent weeks. 

“Bega co-coaches James Scott and Grant Dowdle have their team training enthusiastically,” Arkin said. 

“This showed last week against Moruya with an emphatic victory.”

“The young Bantam Roosters are playing as one and that’s a great sign with all contributing and doing their job,” he said. 

Meanwhile the Roosters’ 18s team manager Craig Britten said the team is up to the task. 

“We know that Cooma are the defending group 16 premiers and we struggled to get near them last season,” Britten said. 

“But we have improved and are up for  the battle.” 

Arkin said the Cooma coach Weston had a “huge playing list” and plenty of talent at his fingertips. 

“Weston is keen to get his side onto the paddock and they accounted for Narooma in round one while rotated players against Merimbula-Pambula last week,” Arkin said. 

There is plenty of youthful talent coming from both sides and organisers are expecting to see a high energy game. 

At  5.15pm the Koala Kare reserve grade kicks off. 

The in-form Eden Tigers are on the prowl and looking to knock over the Moruya Sharks.

The Tigers clinched a four-point win over Candelo-Bemboka in round one and will have a strong band of supporters on hand to cheer them on. 

Meanwhile, the Moruya Sharks have a massive forward pack and a very strong line-up. 

Organisers expect the game to be very tight and could go in to extra time. 

The headline match will start at 6.30pm when the Grand Hotel first grade final takes the field, featuring two “heavyweights” of Group 16, the Cooma Stallions and the Moruya Sharks.

The Sharks are the defending premiers and will form a tall task for any squad taking them on. 

Arkin said the Sharks had a number of influential players. 

“Key personnel to watch are hooker Justin Bell, lock Dean Scott, half Joel Pietsch, pivot Aaron Brierley and new sensation centre Jake Clarke,” Arkin said. 

“For the Stallions it will be the engine room players where the cannon fodder will be at its best .

“Captain-coach Steve Dunn, prop Todd Williams and hooker Joel Smith are all in great form.

“While in the backs, Boller and Schofield shape as two lynchpins the Sharks will be watching.” 

There will be an awards presentation at the Grand Hotel Bega tomorrow at 8.45pm.

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