THE Boggabri Roos have had a tough run in the lead up to the 2019 Group 4 season going down at the hands of the Narrabri Blues in a recent trial match.
There was promising signs for the Roos, despite the side heading into the trial under manned.
Split into four 20-minute quarters, the Roos found themselves in touch with the Blues for much of the first three quarters, trailing 28-16 going into the final 20 minutes.
However, a leg injury to Bailey Lennox and the omission of Jesse McCarthy, saw the Blues run away with the game in the final quarter to record a 56-16 victory.
Roos coach Shane Rampling told the Namoi Valley Independent Lennox would be fit to play in the side's opening-round clash against the Blues on May 4.
"I was actually pretty pleased with our effort in the trial match," Rampling said.
"We were down 18-0 at one point, but we fought back to be 18-12 down at half-time, which showed our fight.
"However, injuries took their toll late in the game and Narrabri exploited that, but I'm confident all of those guys will be right for round one."
The trial match at Collins Park marked the first time all four of the Roos sides competed on the same day.
"Our reserve grade side did really well considering they were under manned as well," Rampling said.
"It was a positive day for us as we learned that we will need to be patient next time we play Narrabri.
"From what we learned from the trial match, we know going forward that will work on our patience and taking it set by set."
Rampling said the club's new-found depth would help them be competitive throughout the season.
"Given we do have a lot of players working in the mines we are rarely going to have all of our players available," he said.
"So that's why having depth and these trial matches is so important.
"When we come up against Narrabri again in the opening round we will know that we need to shut down their attacking weapons and apply our own defensive pressure.
"It's going to be a really tight competition this season, so we will be very focused on going hard against Narrabri in round one before having the bye in round two."