Derby to test troubled Manilla Tigers

THE GROUP 4 Second Division local derby between Barraba and Manilla this afternoon could turn out to be a one-sided affair.

Manilla has been a club in turmoil this week after an  incident following the double header last Saturday.

Tigers secretary Neil Constable said there would be some changes in personnel, including in the committee.

“We are still in the process of finalising it and would like to sort it out in-house,” Constable said.

Despite the disruption, the team has had a tough week in training preparing to meet the premiers.

After a close two-point win in the opening round against Boggabri, the Bulldogs seem to be gaining momentum as the season progresses, posting a 52-point victory over the Creek last week.

“They are the ones setting the standard,” Constable said.

“We are going to have to get up and meet them in the forwards and cut them down.”

“We can’t give away any more easy metres.”

The Tigers are also getting better with each game, although could be outgunned by the Bulldogs.

The Mallise twins Jock and Zac could be back for the game tomorrow and will add a dynamic aspect to the Bulldog pack.

Jock has been shearing in north Queensland and was travelling back overnight, while Zac has been recovering from a dislocated hip and has been training well this week.

Bulldog secretary and second-rower Jacob Hawley said the team was looking strong and is expecting a big crowd for its first home game since winning the flag at the Sportsground last year.

“With or without the Mallise boys, our pack is ready for any team,” Hawley said.

“We are a bit lighter this year but are more mobile.”

The Bulldogs have relied on a heavy pack to drive them downfield for the last few seasons.

Mitch Fletcher and the Manilla Tigers will need to have a big game if they are going to roll Barraba after a tough off-field week for the Tigers.  Photo: Gareth Gardner  030514GGD02

Mitch Fletcher and the Manilla Tigers will need to have a big game if they are going to roll Barraba after a tough off-field week for the Tigers. Photo: Gareth Gardner 030514GGD02

“Size has been a weapon for us for years so we have had to change our structure a bit,” Hawley said.

“We have to play smarter footy now.”

The premiers still have the size and big motor of captain-coach Tim Coombes in the pack, along with lock Jayse Starr, as well as a quality backline with the likes of Luke White and Joey Latham.

The other two matches will be blockbusters as Dungowan hosts Kootingal, and an all-Roo affair will see Boggabri travel to Walcha.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop