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   Sep 22

Brilliant Blacks

Suni Saleopelu
Nanjing Night Net

The Griffith Blacks did as expected and finished the preliminaryrounds of the Southern Inland Rugby Union competition with a big win over Cootamundra in Hay on Saturday.

The Blacks ran in 11 tries to thump the wooden spoon favourites 69-6, Suni Saleopelu finishing with19 points after scoring a try and nailing seven conversions.

The result ensured the Blacks retained third ahead of the competition split this week.

The reigning premiers will now battle Albury (1st), Leeton (2nd), Waratahs (4th), Tumut (5th) and Ag College (6th) for the Walsh and Blair Cup overthe rest of the year.

The draw for the second half of the season is expected to be finalised on Monday, but regardless of who the Blacks play, co-coach Nick Gleeson said there would only be hard matches.

“It (intensity) is going to go up now,” he said.

“Every week you’ve gotto have your best team out there and firing otherwise you’ll get knocked off.”

But fielding a fully fit side is easier said than done for the Blacks at the moment.

Gleeson missed Saturday’s win with a shoulder problemand could face another few weeks on the sideline. In a bigger blow,inside centre Dan Bozic willmiss the rest of the season with a knee injury he sustained earlier in the year.

“He (Bozic) hadbeen mucking around with physios for a while and eventually went and got a scan,” Gleeson said.

“It turns out he did a fair bit of damage and will be out for the rest of the season.

“That hurts a bit, but beside that everyone should be back on board over the coming weeks.”

A full-strength Blacks can threaten the title, but Gleeson said Albury loomed as the team to beat.

“Everybody’s eyeing off Albury, I think,” he said.

“In saying that, when we played them we were firing in the first 20 minutes before we took our foot off the throat.They beat us, but we’re not scared or intimidated by them.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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