West Wyalong Knockout after 10th team for draw reshuffle

SURROUNDED: The West Wyalong defence swarms an Oberon opponent last season. Oberon is among a number of clubs not returning for the West Wyalong Knockout this year.
SURROUNDED: The West Wyalong defence swarms an Oberon opponent last season. Oberon is among a number of clubs not returning for the West Wyalong Knockout this year.

West Wyalong Knockout organisers are desperately searching for one more team as they try to alter the draw for the usually popular pre-season event.

Nine clubs, including the Young Cherrypickers, have now entered for the event on February 23 and 24 with Mudgee and Griffith Black and Whites added to the fray.

If a 10th team enters, the plan is for five games to be played on Friday night.

It would mean only two entrants would be knocked out, with the three best losers given a second chance in the quarter finals on Saturday.

Organiser Nicole Wood said plenty of work was going into finding more teams after the big drop in interest this year.

“We are at nine, which is a positive, and are going to be making a few calls to try and round up at least 10,” Wood said.

“At least that way we would be able to run it.

“We would have games on the Friday night and the two worst performing losers would get knocked out and then run through it as normal.”

Group Nine clubs lead the way with Southcity, Brothers, Young and Temora all entered.

The hosts and Tullibigeal Lakes United complete the list of Group 20 sides while Canberra Raiders Cup club Goulburn finalises the field at this stage.

It is a far cry from the 16 teams that usually compete.

Kangaroos were one of the six Group Nine clubs involved last year however new coach Glenn Dumbrell wasn’t keen on putting their hands up.

"There's no real reason behind it but I've just never been one to take a team to West Wyalong,” Dumbrell said. "I've never had any interest in going.

"The prizemoney is good but at the same time it's 20 minutes of football and you drive all the way over there and could be out the next day."

A draw will be completed on Tuesday.

Wood said a plan had not been decided on if they couldn’t find a 10th team to compete.

Despite the lack of numbers it should still be a big weekend of rugby league at Ron Crowe Oval with Riverina to host Western Rams in second round of the Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley cups on February 24.

Players asked to register before training

The Young Cherrypickers are asking that all First Grade, Reserve Grade, League Tag, Under 19 and 17’s players please register wit the club prior to training to be covered under insurance.

Prospective players can register online at  https://membership.sportstg.com/regoform.cgi