Trial and tribulation
By MITCHELL DALE
A WASTE of time.
That is how a leading senior Group 2 club player has described the inaugural Group 2 South v North representative trial at Macksville on Saturday.
It seems a number of players share his view, with both the North and South sides left in the lurch by late withdrawals.
North took the field with the bare 13 players and were lucky just to have that many.
South were fortunate the match was in Macksville, making it easier to call-up players at late notice.
South benefitted greatly from being able to grab Sea Eagles' star David Pickvance, who was originally left out of the side after missing Macksville's two pre-season trials.
Pickvance eventually played a leading hand in the Southerners' 22-12 victory.
"The things is, it (the North-South trial) is actually a good idea and it gives the selectors another match to have a look at the best players in the Group," the experienced player says.
"It just needs to be organised a bit better.
"Some players didn't find out about their selection until late in the week and there wasn't much notification about the match, so there weren't many (spectators) there.
"The match on the weekend was a waste of time."
Rumours have also surfaced that some players who pulled out of the match made up excuses to get out of playing.
But our source says the apparent lack of player interest would also be rectified if the match was better organised.
"I think the weekend left a sour taste in a lot of players' mouthes," he says.
"A couple of the guys said that the people organising it didn't know what positions some blokes played and the jumpers only turned up at the last minute.
"If you look at the (USA) Tomahawks game (against a Coast-Valley selection), it was well-run and all the players in that game seemed very excited about it.
"A lot of it (the players' interest) comes back to how well it is organised, but the individual clubs' hierarchy also need to make the players aware of what an honour it is to be picked for Group teams."