SHIFT work has taken its toll on Boggabri as it hosts Bendemeer today short on numbers but full of enthusiasm according to coach Dave Harris.
The Roos are sitting in sixth place two points behind Walcha and are looking to climb.
The side has a full pack and plenty of forwards but are very short on backs this week.
“We are concentrating on winning games at home,” Harris said.
“It is luck of the draw for players with the shift work here.”
“When we get full squads we can compete but getting them all on the same day is tough.”
Bendemeer is only sitting on two wins this year although had ladder leaders Kootingal on the ropes a fortnight ago.
“They are a bit unpredictable and it can go both ways,” Harris said.
Fortunately for the hosts, they will have the services of both front-rowers Ben Haire and Will Urquhart.
Haire has been the form player for the Roos this season, taking ref’s points as he takes the side forward every game.
“He plays a lot of minutes for a big prop,” Harris said.
“And with Will back we should get some good go-forward.”
Hooker Ryan Gunning has also been a force around the ruck for the Roos.
“He is an unsung hero and one of the best hookers in the comp,” Harris said.
“With those three blokes in this week we should go all right.”
Last week the side won the battle of the Roos and upset Walcha at home.
“We controlled the ball really well and were strong in defence,” Harris said.
“We are looking to do that again this week.”
Another team struck by work commitments this weekend is Werris Creek, only it has to travel to Barraba and play the premiers.
Coach Ron Dellar said the side might do it tough.
“They grow an extra leg up there but it is always a good day,” Dellar said.
“It is not the end of the world and we have Walcha at home next week.”
Creek is still missing Tim Fenwicke with a broken hand and Zac Darcy with an ankle injury as well as a handful of players who have to work.
Unfortunately for Creek but fortunately for the Bulldogs they will go in at full strength minus secretary Jacob Hawley who is away.
The Bulldogs are not only looking to win after two losses last month dropped them to third, but also win by big margins.
“For and against will probably come into play at the top,” Hawley said.
“We need to beat Kooty and Dungowan in Barraba and hope that one of them drops another game.”
The other game will see leaders Kooty host last-placed Manilla.