Photo: Magpies at a trial match during preseason.

The Yass Magpies are gearing up for their first match of the season on Saturday, April 9 against the Woden Valley Rams in a home game at Walker Park. The Reserve Grade plays at 1:20pm and First Grade at 3:00pm.

After training began earlier this year Magpies Coach Cam Hardy is looking forward to kick off this year and said having a home game will be a good start to the season.

This season the coach is hoping for consistency across the board.

“We need to stick in those hard games, unforced errors have been a big problem for us, and they really cost you in the end.”

“We couldn’t defend our errors which would send us back to kick off time and time again.”

Although the Magpies First Grade finished in seventh, the Reserve Grade squad finished top of the ladder last year after Canberra Region Rugby League cancelled the remainder of the season after 15 rounds due to coronavirus.

The team had two trials in preseason against Camden and Goulburn and while the score is never the main aim in trials the match allowed the team to test out some combinations, which Cam said showed some promise.

“A lot of the young boys are stepping up, which is great and getting the opportunity,” he said. “So that’s exciting for them and just exciting for the club in the long run.”

Cam said the 2022 season will certainly be interesting but hopes the team gelled together enough in preseason.

“We’ve lost a lot of players as well so that’s been hard.”

The squad had a shake-up after several players moved on over the Christmas break and the Magpies picked up a few new players.

“We picked up a couple that have been really outstanding for us, so it’s been good,” Cam said.

Two standouts are young Jack Hartwig and Rylee Blackhall who joined the team earlier this year.

Originally from Forbes, Jack had been in the Bulldogs’ system for a while playing country juniors and Rylee, who hails from Wellington, has been through the Penrith and Tigers’ junior systems.

“Both young boys and really good country kids that have fitted in seamlessly really,” he said. “It was like they’ve always been there actually.”

Several local players also moved to the Magpies after the Yass Rams folded earlier this year due to lack of numbers. But contract wise Yass has gained about six additional players, several travelling in from New Zealand and Fiji recently.

By Brianna O’Rourke