Woolpack shape as team to beat

The Woolpack Roosters line-up that were declared the winners of the 2020 Tumut Pub 9s.

With the Tumut Pub 9s only three weeks away from commencing on January 29, reigning premiers, Woolpack, again look like the team to beat. 

The Tom Jeffery led Roosters will basically turn out the same squad that went through the 2020 competition unbeaten, and with the young and talented squad a year older, they could be very hard to topple. 

Jeffery said the Roosters weren’t fazed by being labelled the favourites either, suggesting the competition was more about having fun and just playing footy. 

“No, it doesn’t bother me and I doubt it’s something we all really even think about, we’re just there for some fun and some footy,” Jeffery said. 

Woolpack have certainly made a name for themselves with their exciting play in recent seasons, and call on some of the competition’s fastest players in Hunter Lee, Brodie Sutton, Billy Bridgeman and Brayden Draber and despite playing an expansive style of rugby league, Jeffery said there was a structured approach to the Roosters attacking style of game. 

“We definitely have some structure positional wise but that’s it, it’s more about players in certain spots on the field with a certain job, but wherever the ball goes we run with it, if we see space that’s our target,” Jeffery said. 

The Roosters are yet to train though, with the holidays and work making it hard, but Jeffery is confident his playing group will click when the time comes. 

“We actually haven’t had a training run yet, we’ve tried a couple of times but blokes were pretty busy before Christmas, so we just left it,” Jeffery said. 

“Most blokes in our team have kept fit in the gym since they last played football, so it shouldn’t take us too many trainings to click into gear.”

In what will be the most anticipated match of the Tumut Pub 9s regular season, the Woolpack Roosters are chomping at the bit to take on 2020 runners up, Adelong, after being denied a chance to play them last year due to Covid-19 cutting the competition short by two weeks. 

Roosters finisher, Brodie Sutton, will be one of the players to watch in the 2021 Tumut Pubs 9s.

“I can’t wait to play Adelong, (it) definitely would have made for a great grand final last year,” Jeffery said. 

“Both teams should be pretty well the same as last year, so it should give a good indication on what would have been, I’m sure the boys will be up for it.”

Woolpack finisher, Brodie Sutton, was another player keen to get back on the field, and was not buying into any talk of his side being labelled favourites. 

“It doesn’t bother me because it’s a new season and anything can happen,” Sutton said. 

“With the team we have, I hope we can go back-to-back, but with such strong competition, it’s going to be very hard.”

Sutton said a close-knit Woolpack playing group just enjoyed playing rugby league together, which essentially made them a dangerous proposition. 

“Well, we are all close mates and we have gelled really well as a team,” Sutton said. 

“We have a good balance of backs and forwards and we all enjoy playing a bit of footy together.”

Woolpack playing list: Billy Bridgeman, Brayden Draber, Mitchell Piper, Brodie Sutton, Tom Jeffery, Tom Hickson, Jeremy Sutton, Matt Tozer, Matt O’Donovan, Will Casey, Nick Webb, Jeremiah Freeman, Rick Creatie, Jim Jeffery and Will Guldbransen.