There has never been a better game to indicate the purpose of a trial game than this weekends clash between Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights.
The two sides will meet again in Round 2 of the Premiership, so this trial at Scully Park, Tamworth will hold significant meaning for both clubs and especially the coaches.
Ricky Stuart has named a 28-man squad for the game, thatís 6 more than the Knights. This could mean two things, Stuart is still unsure of the makeup of his side or he is playing mind games already with Knights coach Wayne Bennett.
Raiders big guns Terry Campese, Brett White, Josh Papalli and Anthony Milford will see some game time along with Jack Wighton who will start in the halves. Stuartís experiment with Josh McCrone at hooker will continue. The boy from Temora is in a battle with Glen Buttriss for the number 9 jersey. If all 28 players get a run on Saturday, they should average about 37 minutes each.
Canberra has a well balance squad this season and should make the top 8. Although this weekends game in Tamworth is not for premiership points, it will be important to both teams and will be a good gauge come Round 2 at Hunter Stadium when the two teams meet again.
Will Canberra be too strong for Newcastle in Tamworth this weekend?
And will the loser be able to turn things around in time for their March 16, Round 2 clash?