Pirates put heads together to deal with pressure

NOTHING heals scars like a win and that’s just what Pirates will be looking to do when they tackle Inverell tomorrow.

Pirates fullback Jake Hartmann looks for support as Narrabri's Mitch Kelly gives chase. Pirates will be looking to put last week behind them when they tackle Inverell tomorrow. Photo: Gareth Gardner 020814GGE03

Pirates fullback Jake Hartmann looks for support as Narrabri's Mitch Kelly gives chase. Pirates will be looking to put last week behind them when they tackle Inverell tomorrow. Photo: Gareth Gardner 020814GGE03

Pirates have done some soul-searching this week after a heavy penalty count against Narrabri last week derailed their hopes of securing the minor premiership.

But it wasn’t just the penalties that hurt them, but their reaction to them, and that as much as anything has been a big focus leading into tomorrow.

One of the first things the players did, co-coach Andrew Verrell said, was talk about what happened as a playingh group.

They were quite open in their discussions and came up with a set of guidelines and rules as far as their behaviour.

Some of it they concede, was 

inappropriate.

“They’ve set in place certain rules that everyone will abide by.

“If they break the rules they’ll be sanctioned by the playing group,” Verrell said. They also spoke about how they could improve their ability to deal with pressure situations, such as last week was.

They didn’t handle it well.

Verrell wasn’t at the game but watched it on live stream and didn’t have any qualms about the way they played the game.

“I have no problems with the way we play the game,” he said.

“What we’re doing in my opinion is not contradictory to the laws of the game.”

“We won’t be changing the way we play our rugby.”

His main concern for tomorrow is whether they are mentally ready.

“A lot of the boys were mentally and emotionally drained after that,” Verrell said.

That was heightened by the closeness of the result and what was at stake.

And they will need to have their heads in the game. “It’ll be a hard affair,” Verrell said. “They (Inverell) can be physical and can also be very unpredictable.”

They are also at home and have nothing to lose.

“They’ve got a lot of individuals that can hurt you,” he said.

Pirates were far too good when they met five weeks ago, but the game up in Inverell the Highlanders put a few points on them.

It was a pretty frenetic game with almost 100 points scored.

As a result of last week, Pirates will be missing second rower Blake Pollock. 

Both he and Jake Douglas had to front the judiciary after receiving two yellow cards.

Pollock was given a week off but Douglas escaped further reprimand.

In other games tomorrow Moree will be out for revenge when they take on Gunnedah in Gunnedah as will Tamworth when they host Walcha.

Both suffered losses last time they met.

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