Moruya Sharks reserve grade side took the field against Candelo-Bemboka United with a side vastly different line-up from their grand final winning side of 2015.
The Sharks welcomed the return of Charlie Nye and Dean Butler as well as new players Andrew Stewart, Zach Ingram and Brendon Taylor.
As is the norm for early away games, the Sharks relied heavily on under 18s backing up with Corey Arnold, Ambrose Owens and Albert Murray, all helping coach Mick Cottington out.
It was the Candelo-Bemboka United (CBU) side that bothered the scorers first when classy captain-coach Jake McDonald crossed early.
The Sharks responded through a good individual effort by Jack Keating, who planted the ball for an equaliser.
The bigger CBU forwards were creating havoc and were proving difficult to stop close to the try line and posted two more tries prior to the break to go to half-time with a 14-6 lead.
The second half saw the Sharks fight back with tries to Corey Arnold, Andrew Stewart and Zach Ingram giving the boys a solid 20-14 lead before the CBU big forwards were once again able to dominate the latter stages to take the win 32-20.
Coach Cottington, while disappointed in the loss, said he was happy with the effort, but lamented that too many dropped balls and poor discipline cost his side field position and gave the opposition too many chances.
“There is plenty to work on and when we can get them all to training, we can work on our discipline and combinations,” Cottington said.
Players’ player went to Brendon Taylor, who worked hard all game, while Charlie Nye showed that he still has the skill and ability to create opportunity by receiving the three points for his efforts. Others to impress the coach were Lance Nye and Zach Ingram, who toiled hard up front.