QUIRINDI will be looking to disrupt Walcha’s surge when it hosts the Rams tomorrow.
The Rams are arguably the form team of the second tier and will head to Quirindi chasing their seventh win in eight games.
Incidentally, that run started down in Quirindi and with a hard fought 28-17 win.
That result has given the Lions some hope for tomorrow.
“We’d like to think we’d put up a reasonable showing,” coach Grant Batty said.
“We still see ourselves as underdogs.
“We’ll be looking to be a nuisance.”
He thought they had got better since that first meeting.
“We’ve had some continuity with the team we’ve put out,” he said.
That said they’ll have to play a lot better than they did against Tamworth last week, and particularly address a couple of defensive flaws.
“We need to be better organised in defence,” Batty said.
“We’ve been a bit compressed at the breakdown.”
“We’ve been getting as many as four or five people between the ruck and the first receiver.”
That’s meant that one pass has wiped out four or five defenders, and has left them short out wide.
It’s something they can’t afford to do against the Rams.
Not with the arsenal they have out wide.
The Rams won’t be taking the Lions lightly but are looking to give a few of their bench players a bit of a run.
They will still be striving for the win, but it is a good opportunity to change a few things around, and “try a few new things”, coach Andrew Crawford said.
Breakaway Will Fletcher and number eight Robbie Glen are two Crawford said will probably sit on the bench.
There’ll probably be a few changes in the backs too with Bevan Wood likely to play at five-eighth and give Simon Newton a bit of a rest.
Wood played junior union and league for Walcha and has returned to town after a couple of years away.
He’s been playing mainly on the wing but has had a bit of a run at 10.
“We ran him at five-eighth for 20-30 minutes against Barraba,” Crawford said.
They’ve also been running him there on second plays.
“He slots from the wing into five-eighth,” he said.
He said he is a natural ball player, but added it will be a big learning curve driving the ship.
Structure will be again be a big focus.
“We just want to become a lot more structured,” Crawford said.
“We’ve just got to do it up the middle before we do it out wide.”
Even though they’ve got plenty of jets out wide they’ve got to do the work up front first.
In the other tier two game Scone is at home to Barraba, while in the top tier Pirates travels out to Narrabri and Inverell is at home to Moree.