Barraba aims to be a surprise packet

TIER 2

WITH finals on the radar for the first time in a while, Barraba will be attacking its final few games with a real purpose.

Quirindi centre Jason Guest clings onto Tamworth's Adam Penman. The Lions midfield defence will have to be at its best today against Walcha or they could be in for a long day. Photo: Barry Smith. 210614BSG06

Quirindi centre Jason Guest clings onto Tamworth's Adam Penman. The Lions midfield defence will have to be at its best today against Walcha or they could be in for a long day. Photo: Barry Smith. 210614BSG06

Starting with Scone today the Rams will be looking to fine-tune for their minor semi-final clash with Tamworth.

“That’s all we’re focused on at the moment,” fullback Luke Smith said.

“We’re trying to build towards the finals.”

It’s about building their structure and getting a bit more of a game plan.

“We’re trying to fix a few things so when we get there we might be a surprise packet,” he said.

They are coming into today refreshed after having the week off and ready to go.

“We needed that break,” Smith said.

“We’ve got a few guys coming back from injury.” 

That has led to a few changes particularly in the backs with Kris Halloran slotting into five-eighth, Tom Mellor moving out to outside centre and pushing Smith back to fullback.

The two matches between the two have been a contrast.

The first encounter was pretty tight but last game the Brumbies blew the Rams away.

Walcha did likewise two weeks ago.

Smith said they had a few key players out but simply didn’t play well enough.

Defence was the big issue. They muscled up pretty well in the forwards but allowed the Walcha backs too much ball and too much space.

The story wasn’t too different against the Brumbies.

“They were pretty good at catching us a bit short,” Smith said.

“We need to be more responsive in defence.”

It’ll also be about defence for Quirindi as they venture up to the cold country – Walcha.

The Rams ran rampant last time the two sides met.

The Lions have had a horror run with injuries and will for only the second time this season not have a second grade side.

“We’ve got a whole first grade team out for one reason or another,” coach Grant Batty said.

They were last week beaten 32-nil by Tamworth but gave the Magpies a good run for their money in the first half.

“The score didn’t represent the game at all,” Batty said.

He felt they were more competitive than it indicated.

Where they noticeably picked up was their defence.

“We were a bit more aggressive in our defence,” he said.

“We needed to come off the line quicker and that was the case.”

He said they will have to repeat that today.

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