Pirate forward relishing role in the thick of it

DOUG Biffin’s name regularly crops up among Pirates’ best and did again after Saturday’s last-minute win over Moree, with the backrower polling the three best and fairest points.

It was his second man of the match effort in as many games after receiving the three points against Gunnedah two weeks ago.

The points took him to six and equal top with Gunnedah’s Peter Henderson.

Biffin was, as usual, busy and scored the try that put Pirates in front with about 10 minutes to go in the first half. Jake Douglas started it but Biffin was, like a good backrower, there backing up in support.

Pirates’ backrow riches are well-known and their depth is such that they have on occasion used them to plug holes in the centres.

Biffin has been employed to do that a couple of times and played there in the opening round against Narrabri. He’s happier though being back in the pack.

“I’m enjoying being back in there,” he said. “I get a bit closer to the action.”

Tomorrow, Pirates are away to Inverell, which won’t be an easy assignment, with the Highlanders putting in a much-improved showing and taking it to Narrabri last week.

One of the key issues for Pirates to resolve is their discipline.

“The penalty count was fairly well against us,” Biffin said.

On the positive count, their defence really stood up.

“It was good defence in the first half,” Biffin said.

“We didn’t have much of the ball.”

He said they had been working pretty hard on their fitness and felt if they could stay close they “could come home”.

“The second half we got a bit of field position,” Biffin said.

“We hit the corners well.

“It’s what you need to do in these games.”

Play it down the other end and force the mistakes. 

Biffin said they would take a lot from the win.

“Moree are the benchmark,” he said.

“We know we’re in the mix.” 

They’ll also take a lot from the manner of the win. Not many sides steal a win from the Bulls at the death.

Most of the side has been together for a few years but Biffin said there were some good young players coming through.

He mentioned Sam Jackson who came off the bench.

The match of the round tomorrow is at Gunnedah where the Red Devils will tackle Scone.

Only a point separates them on the table and a win will greatly enhance their top five chances.

In other games, Narrabri travels to Tamworth, the Rams clash at Walcha and Quirindi heads  to Moree.

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