After showing promise during the last two seasons, the Woden Valley Rams will be looking to reach the finals for the first time since the 2009 season.
Where they excel
The Woden Valley Rams have recruited strongly throughout the off-season but arguably their biggest gain is the return of Adam Lucas from injury. The hooker, only managed a handful of games last year before injury struck and it meant that the Rams had to blood Kosta Posantzis in the role.
Now, with two quality hookers and a strong second row including Michael Gilmour, Brad Martin and Keb Vatoe, the Rams have the ability to ask questions of any side in the competition. They showed glimpses of this at the end of last season as they beat the Queanbeyan Kangaroos and will be hoping to show that form early on in the week.
Room to improve
The loss of Jack Hickson is a significant blow for the Rams. Although, Lincoln Withers is a quality replacement with NRL and Super League experience, there are question marks over his fitness throughout a full season. The halves is the one position where the Rams lack depth, so managing Withers’ fitness is crucial to their finals aspirations.
With a number of new additions, Woden will want their combinations to gel quickly so they don’t leave a run to the finals too late once again.
“Experience was a key thing we were trying address over the last couple of years. It’s been really good to get Lincoln Withers and Brad Martin. Obviously, Lincoln is a former NRL and Super League player and has coaching experience with Gungahlin.
It’s really good to have guys who have built up there experience back at the Rams. Both Lincoln and Brad have had a positive influence on the squad so far both on and off the field.” – Ash Barnes
“We’re really luck in the fact that we have a lot of juniors coming through. If I was to name one it would be Tom Robertson. He’s been a Rams junior for a long time, he’s won the Under 16 Premiership and then captained last year’s Under 18 Premiership winning side. He’s excelled throughout the pre-season and been working with the Mounties U20’s squad and has performed really well.” – Ash Barnes
Gains and Losses
Ash Vivili (Rugby Union)
Scott Geronimi (Rugby Union)
Brad Martin (Gungahlin Bulls)
Lincoln Withers (Gungahlin Bulls)
Cody Hodge (Canberra Raiders NYC)
Keb Vatoe (Canberra Raiders NYC)
Damien Hayden (Cooma Stallions)
Tyson Hodge (Southcity Bulls)
Jack Hickson (Mackay Cutters)