THE Walcha Roos are hoping for two wins before they get a two-week break to re-gather while the Mountain Men want their reputation back.
The Roos suffered a couple of injuries to key players in a very physical loss to Barraba last Sunday but have an easier task against Manilla today.
Line-breaking rugby convert Lachlan Brown dislocated his kneecap at the start of the second half and will sit out for around four or five weeks.
Brett Beard injured his shoulder, while Shane Rule will miss a fair bit with a cracked vertebra in his lower back.
Captain Troy Yarnold was battling a niggling injury as well but is expected to play.
While the list is long and bad, the timing probably couldn’t be better for the club.
After two tough games against Barraba and Werris Creek, the Roos will play struggling teams Manilla and Bendemeer before getting two weeks off.
Manilla is a club rebuilding after some turmoil and have had 50 points put on them in both matches since.
The Roos should get on top of them although –beware the injured Tiger – they still have some big forwards and are led around by Chris Vidler.
Last week Walcha tested the premiers with good line speed and were forcing some errors.
“I thought we were getting on top before halftime,” Roos coach Peter Berry said.
“Then the injuries took their toll and Barraba never stop coming at you. “
The coach wants to keep that same in-your-face attitude right through the season, but especially in the next two games.
“We have been working on our defence and line speed,” Berry said.
“Once again we want to run their big guys around and tire them out.
“Our attack takes care of itself if we defend well.”
He said the side would have a similar match plan against Manilla.
“We will go in with the same game plan although will have some players in different positions,” Berry said.
“If we can play two halves of last week’s first half it would be great.”
Jock Abraham will move from lock to centre to replace Brown, and utility back Glen Olrich will take a permanent position in the number one jersey.
“We just need to get through this game and the Bendemeer game with wins and then have two weeks off and look at the next round then,” Berry said.
That game against Bendy next week is being moved to Bendy because of a clash with the rugby at Walcha.
The Mountain Men will host Barraba today and may do it tough after losing some players against Werris Creek last Sunday.
Coach Jake Reid said that training on Tuesday was like the walking wounded.
“We had about 14 players there but only seven of them trained,” Reid said.
The side trained last night, where the coach was hoping he could sort a team out.
The one goal that Reid wants is for Bendy to get its reputation back from last season.
“We were known as the hardest hitting team in the comp,” Reid said.
“We need to get up in their faces and get that reputation back. That is the only way to stop Barraba.”
The Mountain Men went down to Werris Creek last Saturday, although played well in the final quarter.
“If we play 80 minutes and not 40 we should be right,” Reid said.
Boggabri hosts Dungowan Cowboys in the other Second Division match .
All three matches are timed for a 2.30pm start today after Ladies League Tag games.