DUNGOWAN Cowboys enter tomorrow’s big Group 4 Second Division Shield clash with Kootingal Roosters missing a number of key players.
Chief playmaker Matt Wilson, props Shae Collins and Ben Tongue and centre Andrew Thomas are all missing from the Cowboys lineup to tackle the rampaging Roosters who will have almost their best available side on the paddock, captain-coach Nathan Hamlin said.
“I’ll have my strongest side bar Mitch Dines,” Hamlin said yesterday.
“He’s about four weeks away with his knee.”
Former Wingham prop Brendan Summerfield comes back into the starting side and, along with Grayson Bradbery, adds to a mobile pack including Hamlin.
“It’s a big game for us,” said Hamlin of a side that sits atop the Shield table, unbeaten after three rounds.
“I was hoping to see where we are against a good team but, with those players out, they won’t be as strong.”
Hamlin’s side has won both its games so far and, with 25 players at training, he is sailing along smoothly.
“Everyone has been putting in at training,” he said of a no-train no-play policy.
He said James Considine’s performance at Manilla last week earned him a run-on berth against the Cowboys.
He and Bradbery will be key men up front against a Cowboy pack missing two of its main enforcers in Tongue and Collins.
The Roosters-Cowboys clash will have two curtain- raisers tomorrow, with Dungowan Dinosaurs playing a Kootingal side in a Masters match beginning around noon at the Dungowan Recreation Reserve which will be followed by a Ladies League Tag clash.
Reigning premier Barraba also has its first home match tomorrow when it hosts Manilla Tigers while Werris Creek Magpies tackle the Walcha Kangaroos at Captain Cook Park, Walcha.