Young captain-coach James Woolford to use last year's loss to Tumbarumba as motivation against Greens

MOTIVATED: Young captain-coach James Woolford in action for the Cherrypickers last season. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
MOTIVATED: Young captain-coach James Woolford in action for the Cherrypickers last season. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

AN EMBARRASSING loss 12 months ago will be the striking motivation for Young to bury Tumbarumba at their Group Nine mountain stronghold on Sunday.

Last year Tumbarumba stunned Young 30-26 in the opening round at Tumbarumba Showground – and the memory still haunts Cherrypickers’ captain-coach James Woolford.

“They (Tumbarumba) pulled our pants down in the first game,” Woolford recalled on Wednesday.

“We talked about it at training last night (Tuesday).

“No one’s forgotten.”

Woolford was not in charge in 2016, but will be in command when Young challenges Tumbarumba at Tumbarumba Showground on Sunday.

With Young coming off a runaway 34-4 victory over Junee nearly two weeks ago, Woolford believes the team is in the right position to continue their lonbg-time domination of the Greens.

Over the past five years Young has beaten Tumbarumba in six of their seven clashes, with the first round disaster in 2016 the only mishap.

Although not entirely thrilled with the five tries to one try success against the Diesels, Woolford still got a positive feel from the game.

“It was a pretty scrappy,” Woolford said.

“It was raining and muddy ... a bit all over the shop.

“But when we did a few things we looked pretty good.”

Taking heart from the comprehensive win, Woolford is adamant the Cherrypickers need to build on the result.

“I worked it out that we only completed 40 per cent of our sets (of tackles),” he said.

“So to manage to score 34 points or so is pretty good.”

Heading into the showdown in the hills, Woolford says there will be no shortcuts on Sunday.

“They’re (Tumbarumba) always tough up there ... they grow another leg,” he said.

“We have to go there with a mind set to play for the full 80 minutes.

“We can’t give them any favours.”

Thrashed 48-14 by Gundagai in their first game on April 2, Young needs to topple Tumbarumba to keep a foothold in the top half of the table.

In contrast, the Greens will fall dangerously off the pace if they lose.

Tumbarumba was beaten 32-20 by Tumut in game one before coming from 12-0 down to clinch an 18-all draw with Cootamundra a fortnight back.

Woolford, meantime, has no intention of resting representative stars Aaron Slater and Raymond Talimalie on Sunday.

Slater and Talimalie will play for Group Nine against Group 20 in the Kelly Cup on Saturday but will both back up for Young on Sunday.

“I’ll check them on Sunday morning but the plan is for them to start,” he said.

Tale of the Tape

2012: Young 33-26

2013: Young 34-32

2014: Young 34-4

2015: Young 72-8, Young 60-6

2016: Tumbarumba 30-26, Young 36-0