WAGGA Tigers' opening hitout for the season ended on a sour note after Lewis Waters suffered a broken jaw in Saturday's trial against Osborne at Victoria Park.
The incident, allegedly caused by a mistimed hip and shoulder from former Osborne best and fairest Declan O'Rourke midway through the game, resulted in Waters also losing some teeth in the incident.
The defender, who joined Tigers last year from Sydney club East Coast Eagles, had surgery in Canberra to repair his jaw on Monday.
AFL Riverina confirmed they had not received a citation from Wagga Tigers regarding the incident as of late Tuesday afternoon.
Tigers coach Murray Stephenson said the injury ensured a sombre mood after the match, which he estimated Osborne won by three to four goals.
"From what I can gather it's just gone horribly wrong," Stephenson said.
"I didn't see him (Waters) after the game but I texted him the couple of days after and he's still got his sense of humour, but he's going to be down in the dumps at some stage.
"He's a bit sore and we're all feeling sorry for him, it was a down mood after the game.
"It's probably too early to say (when he can return to football). Footy just goes out the window when something as nasty as that happens.
"I think he's got to get a couple of plates in and get his whole bottom jaw sorted as well as his teeth. It's a real nasty one."
While the injury ensured it was a flat dressing room afterward, Stephenson was pleased overall with the display from his undermanned side.
He reserved special praise for 16-year-old forward Crawford Wadley, who showed he could handle the physical rigours of senior football.
"We've lost a couple of senior players (this season) but we'll do similar to last year, try to get some games into the kids and we'll be better for it," Stephenson said.
"Crawf Wadley was one of the kids that jumped up and stood out. We'll see how he goes through the year, and I dare say there's a fair chance he'll be playing.
"He's not afraid to take them on. He's not flustered or seems to be overawed, he just look like he views it as another game, which is really all it is."
Stephenson said former Culcairn skipper Ben Gould was a standout in the midfield in his club debut.
"We got a bit more out of Ben than we thought we were going to get. He was probably our best on ground for the day, I think he's going to be a real good player in this competition," Stephenson said.
"We had a raw and young squad, a couple of really young guys who held their own and from a senior player point of view they got a blowout.
"Effort and work rate was up, we've been working on that over the off season."
Stephenson expects the majority of the squad to be available for their away trial this Saturday against Wodonga Bulldogs.
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