Wattles half-back Xavier Manley in action against Warwick.
Wattles half-back Xavier Manley in action against Warwick.

Wattles regroup after loss

WATTLES backs Matthew McCarthy and Brenden Wilson return for the A-grade rugby league clash with Newtown at Newtown Oval on Sunday.

Game times are 11.30am (under-18), 12.45pm (reserve grade) and 2.30 pm (A-grade).

McCarthy missed the game against Warwick last Sunday due to work commitments.

Last Sunday, Wattles suffered its heaviest defeat of the season at Platz Oval at the hands of competition high flyers Warwick going down 70-14.

Warwick, which was placed fifth on the premiership ladder, was on a roll after thrashing Pittsworth 58-16 in their previous outing.

The Cowboys dominated all over the park, and managed nine touchdowns in the first 40 minutes, going in at the break with a 50-0 lead.

While the Queensland Farmer’s Warehouse Warriors enjoyed a stronger second stanza, reeling in the 50-point first half advantage was beyond them.

Coach Cameron Hamblin, while happier with his side’s second-half effort, is doing a balancing act as he tunes his charges to take on Newtown this weekend. Niggling injuries are making the Wattles road a little rougher at the moment, with key players five eight Tim Hentschel, and front rowers Jason Nightingale and Jim Hegarty all carrying annoying injuries.

Lock forward Nick Colthup will be a notable absentee from Wattles line up to clash with the Lions.

Colthup, who has been revelling in a purple patch of form since taking over the number 13 jersey from injured club skipper Aaron Scheid, is unavailable this week.

Seasoned back rower Dan Sullivan comes off the bench to lock the scrum, Sullivan another grappling a little with calf problems.

The injury list is a valid concern for Wattles hierarchy and players given, aside from Newtown, the Warriors have to match up against premiership co-leaders Dalby, and also Gatton and Pittsworth over the next month to complete the first half of the season.

While Wattles depth is certainly being tested currently, on the upside they welcome back representative players, centre McCarthy and fullback Wilson this week adding considerably to their backline firepower.

Newtown is coming off consecutive wins, thrashing both Gatton 44-20 and Pittsworth last Sunday, 62-30. They are positioned just outside the top five on the Clive Berghofer Land Sales premiership ladder with 10 points from five wins in seven games.

In reserve grade, Wattles ranks have been boosted with two new signings this week, Harry Brodie and Travis Johnstone, both debuting against Warwick last Sunday.

Todd McGrady from Warwick is a new signing for the under-18 side.



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