Margaret River Gropers debut fresh new talent in season opener | Photos

The Margaret River Gropers kicked off their season with a 10's tournament in Dunsborough commemorating their 20th Anniversary.

The Gropers have lost a huge amount of experienced players to injury during the off-season, and are reinventing themselves with a bevy of new players.

The Gropers have opened a new chapter in the Club's history and have appointed the inspirational Sam Henry to lead the team into the future, with Ben Christie to handle the player/coach role.

Sam ably was supported by his vice-captains Simon Earl and Jacob Carlon.

The teams ranks have been bolstered by an unprecedented number of young locals, who held more than their own on the weekend against far more experienced players.

The Gropers started the day with a tough encounter against the home side Dunsborough.

In a frantic opening half, the Gropers dominated, however were unable to convert their pressure in to points and trailed at the break 2 tries to one.

Dunsborough hadn't beaten Margaret River in any form of the game for 4 1/2 yrs and made minimal changes, opting to play their best side for the whole match.

Margaret River were treating the game differently and opted to blood all of their new recruits to gain some much needed game time.

Whilst they held their own for much of the second half, the desperate Dungbeetles were too strong for the Gropers and ran away with a 5 tries to 2 victory. 

Ultimately it played into the hands of the Margaret River side, there being no steeper learning curve than a hard fought loss.

The second game against Collie was a different story.

The new recruits started to find their feet and the Gropers' superior fitness and speed resulted in a very one sided affair.

Having blown out the cobwebs, and shaken off the rust, the Gropers moved in to second gear and recorded a comprehensive 7 tries to 0 victory.

The local squadron was lead by Emile Takahashi-Curti  who earned "Player of the Day" for his efforts all over the paddock.

Max Dickson crossed over for the first of what will be many tries in the competition.

Lucas Rudd and Braydon Nixon-McCormack added some much needed grunt, and Jack Osborne impressed out wide.

D-R Brinks was exeptional, and Aaron Murgia showed alot of promise, gifting a five pointer to Simon Earl, and Jake ‘Wheels’ Algate proved to be a weapon out wide, carving apart the opposition dotting down umpteen tries on the day.

Jack Vorweg proved a powerhouse in the front row and general play.

Max Hedstrom once again added his experience and couldn't be faulted.

Cory Bridge added another dimension to the team.

The new member showed up for the first time on Saturday morning and proved to be a class act.

He will add much needed experience, and is a proven utility player able to perform in various positions on the field.

Dom Carlssen  aging performed brilliantly, and French Ben was manic in his efforts in the loose.

Special thanks go to Loren Brown for managing the team from the sidelines.

If anyone is interested in playing, please contact Ben Christie on 0416863639 or just come along to training at 6pm Tuesdays and Thursdays on the Nippers Oval

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