Juniors searching for winning formula

Jimmy Booby will play a key role if Tumut is to defeat Young in their Weissel Cup match on Saturday.

After starting the 2021 Group 9 season with six consecutive victories, the Tumut Blues Weissel Cup side hasn’t won a game since early June.

Losses to Wagga Brothers (36-0) and Gundagai Tigers (10-2) along with a draw to Junee (28-all) have only been compounded by the stop-start nature of the under 18s competition in recent weeks. 

Despite this tough little period, co-coach Tom Jeffery was keeping positive as his second-placed Blues prepared for a home game against the fifth-placed and ever-improving Young Cherrypickers at Twickenham on Saturday.

“We are just trying to get the boys confidence back up, I think we’re a momentum team and when things are going good, we’re hard to stop, but on the flip side of that, we tend to drop our heads when we concede points,” Jeffery said. 

“We were never really in those situations the first half of the season so it’s been unfamiliar territory for us recently.”

A wet Twickenham will make the game tougher for a Tumut side battling with form and Jeffery said a positive mindset would help them beat the Pickers in muddy conditions.

“We’ve just got to take a mindset into the game that it’s going to be tough and we have to win the grind,” Jeffery said. 

“If we stick with teams and trust our defence, I’m more than confident that we have enough talent to take over at the back end of games.”

Ball control will be a focus this week and their coach was adamant the most disciplined team would leave Twickenham as winners on Saturday.

“We need to show discipline with the ball, if we control the ball and our forwards fire, we’ll win the game,” Jeffery said. 

“It’s how we were winning games at the start of the season and it’s what we have to get back to, the game will be won in the middle.”

When asked if Tumut could still lift the Weissel Cup at the end of the year, Jeffery was adamant he had the best team in the under 18s competition. 

“I still believe we can be minor premiers, we’re way too talented and a lot can happen in these final rounds,” Jeffery said. 

It shapes to be a tough day at the office for all Tumut lower grade sides when hosting the Young Cherrypickers. 

Tumut reserves face the second placed Cherrypickers, who flogged an undermanned Blues 52-6 back in round four.

The Blues have improved since then and with players expected to return to the field this weekend, they should get a bit closer on the scoreboard.

In the under 16s, a Tumut side that has struggled with numbers at times in 2021 takes on Young. 

The Baby Blues have been trying their best, pushing the likes of Brothers and Gundagai in recent weeks and if they turn up, they could surprise the Pickers. 

Blues kick-off times

11am: Sullivan Cup

11.15pm: Weissel Cup

1.20pm: Burmeister Shield

2.35pm: XXX Gold first-grade