Mittagong Lions’ tough and physical encounter with Appin

Mittagong Lions reserve grade took on Appin in what turned out to be a very tough and physical encounter.

Mittagong went into the game with only 17 fit players, due to late withdraws from illness and injury.

The Lions started very slow lacking intensity and aggression but after Appin scored early, it was the wake-up call that the boys needed.

Mittagong put its game plan into action and was back on track.

In an arm wrestle of a match and Appin leading 20-12 with 17 mins to go Mittagong players really dug deep for each other.

The Lions started playing the footy that they were known for from last year’s season.

The team played the final 15 minutes of the game with only 13 men due to injury's creeping in the back end of the game.

Mittagong worked hard as a team by playing for each other and putting their bodies on the line with every tackle, enhancing the reason why they ran off the field as well-deserved winners in the end.

The team’s completion rate was fantastic, considering all the positional changes that we needed to make and under the tough physical conditions.

Stand-out players included Mitch Harris who gave his all in a display of heart and character and Hayden Wallace, who was phenomenal at the back.

Josh Harrison, who stepped into grade for the first time this year, made a lot of solid runs in the back row.

Harrison finished the game on the wing bagging a double for the team.

Captain Simon Reid was also a stand-out player on the field.

Reid led from the front, never stopped trying and led by example by encouraging players to lift on every occasion.

The reserve grade team will play Picton on ​April 15.

- Billy Hayward, Mittagong Lions