Ag College have been dealt with a big blow weeks out from the start of the Southern Inland season.
Captain Cameron Duffy will miss the start of the competition after breaking his thumb in Aggies first pre-season hit out.
Duffy is expected to miss four to six weeks after sustaining the injury in the win over Tumut on Saturday.
Duffy was named the competition’s best player, alongside Leeton inside centre Noa Rabici last season and coach Will Mitchell it was the last thing he wanted from the trial.
“What’s your biggest fear? Your Bill Castle Medallist getting hurt in a trial,” Mitchell said. “It is a pain in the arse, but it is what it is.
“That is footy.”
It means Hamish Pennington is expected to play at five-eighth and combine with new halfback Gerard McTaggart for Ag College’s opening round game against Waratahs.
The injury was the low point from a disappointing trial.
While Ag College almost scored 100 points against Tumut, it was far from the hit out Mitchell wanted.
With other commitments, the Bulls struggled for numbers and weren’t able to show a real indication of what is ahead.
However new hooker Pat Lemmich impressed after playing for St Stanislaus last year.
Mitchell is looking for a tougher trial against CSU Bathurst on Saturday but has been pleased with some of the new faces.
“I’m really looking at the first years and guys new to the club to see how they stand up and there have been a couple where I go ‘that is awesome’,” he said.
“There is a couple of second graders in there as well who have played really well which is a a good sign.”
The trial in Cootamundra was part of another fundraiser for Angus Aims For Independence - Coota Carers.
Around $4000 was raised on the day, before another private donation from a family from Hay of $2000 was received.
A team of players with disabilities took to the field to take on the first graders.
The charity’s president Susie Pennington said the day was overwhelming and emotional.
“It was sensational because everyone formed a tunnel and the players with a disability ran through it with such joy on their faces,” Pennington said.
“There were players who hadn’t touched a football with a group of people.”