Great start but injury count hurts

Denyon Rhodes (shown playing in last season's major semifinal against Inglewood) shared Players' Player honours with Tim Kelly in the season opener against Killarney.

Denyon Rhodes (shown playing in last season's major semifinal against Inglewood) shared Players' Player honours with Tim Kelly in the season opener against Killarney.

Tenterfield Tigers didn’t come home with the two match points that club president (and player) Brendan Minns hoped for in the away match against Killarney on the weekend to get the 2017 season under way.

After a fantastic start which saw the Tigers up 10-nil after the first 10 minutes, a raft of injuries to key players put the team’s chances in jeopardy, eventually going down to the Cutters 22-14.

“We came out extremely well in the first piece,” Minns said.

“We were going really well until we got some serious injuries, losing our half-back, lock, a second rower and front rower.”

Nathan Dearden received a broken jaw. Tony Fibbins copped a knee injury and is seeking specialist advice on the prognosis.

Adam Clothier damaged his ribs and Jack Cowin suffered a head knock and concussion, putting him out of this weekend’s game as well.

Minns said it was a very physical game, as the injury toll would attest. He had 17 players to start with but then lost his half-back 20 minutes in.

With four players lost to injury the extra pressure put on the remaining players took its toll, with lack of fitness and training leading to an inevitable decline as the game progressed.

“We’ve had limited numbers at training and our ball skills let us down,” Minns said.

Minns got a commitment from the players that everyone would get along to training, where he can work on improving fitness and skills.

The Tigers picked up four players from the Wallangarra Rams when that club was unable to field a team this season, and Minns said they played well on Saturday.

“They’re a great addition,” he said.

Players’ Player was split between Denyon Rhodes and Tim Kelly, and Wayne Brown and Faron Anderson also featured among the better players on the day.

“But the whole team got in and had a go,” Minns said.

He’s now looking forward to this Saturday’s home game, against Stanthorpe starting at 2.30pm at Rugby League Park.

He said Stanthorpe has a young side that went down to Inglewood 58-4 on the weekend. He’s hoping the Tigers will start off well again but be able to build on that and play out the full 80 minutes.

“It will be great to be back at Rugby League Park after the late start to the season, and I think a lot of people will be excited for the footy to be back on, and for us to be back on the field.”