WEST Lions will be stalking Bears this afternoon, specifically Marshall Barker and Shane Wadwell, as the local derby erupts at Jack Woolaston Oval.
The premiers are going to need to be at the top of their game if they want to stop this season’s Bear juggernaut.
Two weeks ago the Lions put on their best performance yet to humble Gunnedah 38-20 and are looking to re-visit that form today.
Captain coach Chris Hunt said this was a game the Lions really need to perform in if they want to have any confidence come finals time.
“We want to go out there and win but, at the least, we have to be very competitive,” Hunt said.
“We need to slow them down and tighten up around the ruck.
“If they get going forward, Marshall Barker and Chinny (Wadwell) can do a lot of damage and they have smart players out wide.”
For the first time since the two sides last met, the Lions pack will be complete again, with prop Ben Jarvis returning from five weeks’ injury on the bench.
Shane Salvador also pulled up well from his first game back last week and will move off the bench into the front row.
Both players were injured in this fixture last round and add plenty of experience and talent to the pack.
“We are smaller but we still need to focus on going forward and getting quick play of the ball,” Hunt said.
Will Chesterfield will remain at dummy half after impressing in his only three games
The 17-year- old will have his hands full, especially with specialist stirrer Brock Wadwell opposite.
“He (Chesterfield) sticks to our patterns and is heaps reliable,” Hunt said.
“He is a great talker on the field as well.”
Chesterfield, along with Scott Hunt at five-eighth, has been taking a bit of pressure off Hunt at halfback.
The past few games has seen Hunt give himself a bit more licence to take the line on and a bit more room to use one of the group’s best kicking games.
Quick plays of the ball was a dominant factor in the Lions’ win over Gunnedah and is once again at the forefront of the game plan.
“We really ripped in at training this week and can’t wait to get over there,” Hunt said.
“If you’re not up for this game you shouldn’t be playing.”
First game is at 11am with what could be the final derby of the year kicking off at 2.30pm.