INVERELL Hawks are looking to put their disrupted pre-season and poor first-game performance behind them when they travel to Armidale this weekend.
The Hawks have enlisted former Gwydir coach Peter Stevens and have added, and are still adding, players to their books with an eye on a top four finish.
Three pre-season trials were cancelled at the last minute before the club got a first-round bye when Warialda folded.
The Boomerangs then took them apart to win 60-18 in the second round to complete their bad run.
President Garry Lavender said that with the new coach and a new-look pack, the Hawks were ready to get their season back on track.
“Getting Peter (Stevens) is a big win for the club,” Lavender said.
“His knowledge of the game is great and he has the players looking at everything right down to the one percenters.”
Following the collapse of Gwydir, Stevens was able to bring a few key players with him to Inverell.
Hooker Mick Hodges, front rower Brendan Kritchlow, and pivot Luke Thom followed the coach, and have added a lot to the pack and team.
They have joined fellow new recruits Mosses and Sam Briggs from New Zealand who play front and second row.
“We have a good pack this year but are a little skinny in the centres and wings now,” Lavender said.
Three more recruits including two outside backs are due in from New Zealand next week and should solve that problem.
The Moree Boars will be looking for another win after racking up 56 points against Ashford in their first win.
They will be travelling to Uralla who will be desperate to register their first points of the season after recruiting well in the off-season.
Ashford is struggling after the shock resignation of coach Tony Gleeson two nights before the game against Moree.
With reports of some inner turmoil in the club, they might struggle against a well drilled Glen Innes on Saturday.
The likely match of the round will see Goondiwindi host Tingha at Gilbert Park.
Goondiwindi surprised a few people when it convincingly upset Armidale in its first game in the competition.
Both sides are undefeated so far and have never met before.
All Group 19 games will be played on Saturday this week.