THE Queanbeyan Whites are hopeful first choice halfback Clint Dale will be right for the side’s round two clash against arch-rivals the Tuggeranong Vikings.
The Whites halfback stocks have been seriously depleted after Dale’s understudy Danny Matthews suffered a grade two medial ligament tear in Queanbeyan’s 28-25 loss to the Gungahlin Eagles last weekend.
Dale is still recovering after dislocating his knee during the preseason but coach Wayne Southwell was optimistic the young number nine would be fit to take on Tuggeranong.
‘‘We’re still waiting on a clearance for Clint but we’re hopeful he’ll be back running this week,’’ Southwell said.
‘‘If you’re going to dislocate your knee, he probably did it the best way possible.
There’s no ligament damage or anything like that so it’s just a case of him getting some strength back into it.’’
While Dale appears likely to retake his place in Queanbeyan’s starting line-up against the Vikings, Matthews’ injury has also left the Whites without a recognised goal kicker.
Outside backs Brendon Spears and Tyler Stevens are both back-up options with the boot but neither is a noted sharpshooter.
It’s an issue that could prove costly for Queanbeyan after the side was left to lament what might have been against the Eagles at Campese Field on Saturday.
After Matthews left the field in the 70th minute and with the Whites trailing by three points, the home side had three clear cut chances within kicking distance to level the scores.
Without an option from the tee, Queanbeyan was instead forced to go for the try line only to come up short on each occasion.
The Whites had done well to even be in the contest with 10 minutes to play after finding themselves 19-0 down inside the first half-hour.
Tries to Dan Penca, Tyler Stevens and Brumbies contracted centre Tevita Kuridrani saw Queanbeyan work its way back into the contest only for Gungahlin to hold firm in the closing stages.
For Southwell, the Whites poor defence in the opening stanza was simply not good enough.
‘‘What was particularly disappointing was that it was the two things we worked hardest on during the preseason, our defence and our work at the breakdown, that were our two worst areas,’’ he admitted ruefully.
‘‘Looking at the [game] DVD, at one stage we had six sets of eyes looking in at the ruck and by the time they look up, Gungahlin have gone two passes wide and beaten five defenders.’’