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Player exodus to hurt club

Thursday, 4th September, 2014

Saints’ forward Luke Kooyman is believed to be one player who won’t be at the club next Outback Rugby League season. Saints’ forward Luke Kooyman is believed to be one player who won’t be at the club next Outback Rugby League season.

Saints' elimination from the Outback Rugby League at the weekend marks the end of an era for the club.

The winds of change are about to sweep through the black and whites, with President Paul Kemp saying he expects to lose seven or eight from the team that lost to Geebungs in the preliminary final on Saturday.

"A lot are moving back to the east coast or getting transfers work-wise," he said.

Kemp said forwards Reagan Hoete and Luke Kooyman and centre Shane Saunders were among the players likely to depart.

The playing future of many more is also up in the air.

"It'll be a bit of a rebuilding year for us next season I think," Kemp said.

"We'll rely on some of the young ones coming through and the door is always open for new players and volunteers to assist the club.

"Hopefully, through word of mouth and a few new blokes returning to town, we'll be able to attract some more players."

Saints almost pulled off a remarkable victory at the weekend, coming back from 28 points down at halftime to fall just six points short.

"It was a funny old game and definitely the cliche of two halves," Kemp said.

"The goal kicking proved a big difference in the end but we've only got ourselves to blame for not starting strongly."

While they finished in second place at the end of the regular season, Saints were bundled out of the finals with back-to-back losses.

Kemp said last-season injuries ultimately took their toll, none more so than the loss of fullback and last year's grand final man of the match, Matt Kiddle.

"The (qualifying final) against Wilcannia Boomerangs the week before also broke our back a bit," he added.

"It was a full-on game and definitely took its toll.

"But it's all hypothetical now, our season is done and dusted.

"But I'm proud of our club and want to thank all those who have contributed throughout the course of the year."

Meanwhile, the ORL has confirmed the starting time for this Saturday's grand final at Memorial Oval.

Wilcannia Boomerangs play Geebungs in the main game at 3pm. Gates open at 9am with admission $5 per person, $5 per car. Children under 15 are free.

Schedule:

9am: Gates open

10am: U11s - Menindee Yabbies v Wilcannia Boondies

11am: U13s - Menindee Yabbies v Silver City Young Guns

12pm: U15s - Menindee Yabbies v Silver City Young Guns

1.10pm: U17s - Menindee Yabbies v Silver City Young Guns

2.30pm: Outback Rugby League 2014 season awards

2.40pm: U9s exhibition game (second half to be played at half time of the senior's grand final)

3pm: Wilcannia Boomerangs v Geebungs

4.40pm: Grand Final presentation

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