What doesn't beat CYMS at West Wyalong will only make them stronger
By MATT FINDLAY
ORANGE CYMS back-rower Kyran Bubb said his side is relishing the chance to take on arguably the toughest draw of any team at this weekend’s West Wyalong Knockout, something he says will only make them a better side come the season proper.
CYMS have drawn Albury Thunder in round one of the knockout, easily the highest calibre pre-season tournament in country rugby league, and things only get tougher from there for the reigning Group 10 premier league champions.
If the green and golds trump the Thunder - Group Nine premiers in 2012, 2013 and 2014 - they’ll face current Group Nine champions Gundagai in the quarter-finals after the Tigers were awarded a first round bye.
On top of that, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos and Southcity Bulls are both on CYMS’ side of the draw too, making the green and golds’ quest for a maiden knockout title undeniably difficult.
“That’s just the luck of the draw though, we’re going over there to win regardless of who we have to play,” Bubb said.
“The draw only came out last Friday and [last night was] our first training session since then, so we haven’t spoken about it too much just yet.
“Mitchy Davis used to play for Albury obviously so I think he’ll probably be able to tell us a little about them, but they’re always going to be tough, just like the rest of the sides.
“I think it’s definitely a good thing for us to play against these sort of sides leading into the Bathurst Panthers Knockout and then the regular season.
“I think it’ll make us a bit more battle hardened come the start of the (Group 10 premier league) season.”
The knockout will be the first time punters get a look at what is arguably the best side CYMS has fielded since Sullivan’s tenure began in 2010, with 2016 recruits Brock McGarity, Brendan Cousins and former Thunder prop Davis set to be unleashed this weekend alongside the club’s already established stars.
“We’re looking pretty good, as far as I know only Ben McAlpine will be missing for the knockout,” Bubb said.
“We’ve been training pretty well and in this competition I think it’s just about starting well, they’re only 15 minutes halves, and completing as much as possible early.
“Defending well is key too.”
The West Wyalong Knockout, boasting $12,000 in prize money, kicks off on Friday night before coming to a close on Saturday night.
IF you ask West Wyalong Knockout co-ordinator Peter Campbell Orange CYMS are a genuine threat at this weekend’s pre-season tournament, but they certainly aren’t the only ones.
Campbell said it would be remiss to not consider the green and golds, who are expected to take their entire gangbusters 2016 squad to West Wyalong outside Ben McAlpine, a genuine title chance.
But, considering the calibre of the remainder of nominated clubs, Campbell said the current Group 10 champions will have their work cut out if they’re to claim the $6500 winner’s cheque.
In particular, he labelled current Group Nine champions Gundagai as one of CYMS’ biggest obstacles.
“Gundagai are the current Group Nine premiers so they will be tough, that quarter-final will be a blockbuster,” Campbell said.
“I’d say if CYMS win through and play Gundagai, the winner of their quarter-final will be pretty tough to beat.
“But CYMS have to beat Albury first. Although from what I hear Albury aren’t the side they used to be they’ll still be tough.
“Then on the other side of the draw you’ve got sides like the Junee Diesels and the Temora Dragons, they’re both a real chance too.
“It’s a really high quality draw.”