IT’S out with the new and in with the old for Gunnedah as it looks to rebound from last week’s disappointment against Narrabri today.
After being in the game at half-time, the Red Devils were totally outplayed by Pirates in the second half last week.
One of their biggest problems was too much reliance on the forwards, something they’ve tried to address during the week.
“We’ve certainly worked on trying to go back to how we were playing in the early part of the year,” co-coach Tim Walsh said.
That saw them rumbling it through the forwards for a few phases and then letting the backs have a go.
The backs wouldn’t have had a lot of touches last week and, generally, the Red Devils would have got more than five or so phases only a few times .
The Blue Boars have won both clashes this season but the Red Devils have been competitive both games.
Last time there was only eight in it after they had clawed their way back to within three.
The difference then was Brenton Cochrane and discipline – or ill-discipline in the Red Devils’ case with a player binned as they made their late charge.
“We’ve got to be a bit more disciplined,” Walsh said.
“We can’t afford to be down a bloke for 10 minutes when it’s that close.”
Last week they were possibly a victim of their own success. After knocking off Moree they thought it would be easy and the work ethic wasn’t there.
“The blokes have realised that and have trained a lot better,” Walsh said.
He said it would be the little things that will be the difference, like discipline and making those secondary efforts.
That was missing last week and they consequently turned over a lot of ball.
The Blue Boars head to Gunnedah knowing the Red Devils will fancy their chances after their games so far.
“We certainly can’t be complacent,” co-coach Hunter Harley said.
He said there was definitely an air of confidence around after their win over Inverell last week.
It was back to the rampaging form they showed earlier in the season.
The forward battle will be the big one.
“Their strength is their set pieces and, in particular, their scrum,” Harley said.
“We want to compete in all those areas.”
They have done that pretty well.
“We’re probably a bit underrated in that area,” Harley said.
Sure, they’ve had their bad days, but they had the measure of plenty of sides.
“We’ve got to have a low- tackle focus on on their big blokes to stop their momentum with their rolling maul,” Harley said.
And particularly in their own end they’ve got to be disciplined.
It’ll be about securing an even share of the ball.
“If we can get 50 per cent of the ball we’re confident we’ve got the ability to score points,” Harley said.