Saints pray for return to form

INVERELL Saints coach Nic Baird reckons rain is a certainty for Tamworth this Saturday.

He’s no weather forecaster but believes the odds are almost certain for a rainy day on Saturday to finish the home-and- away rounds.

“Every time we’ve been to Tamworth this year it’s rained,” the Saints coach said after Saturday’s wet disappointment at No. 1 Oval.

His side were similar to the conditions – dismal.

They left their previous week’s form (win over unbeaten New England Nomads) in Inverell and spluttered to a 50-point loss to the Roos (15.14 104 to 8.6 54).

“We’ve got one more round against the Eagles here again next Saturday,” Baird said.

“It’ll be raining again but we’ve got to turn it around and be up for the finals.

“While the game doesn’t mean a lot, we need to execute and be right for the major semi against the Nomads.”

The Saints play the second game of a double-header on Saturday with Tamworth Swans and Gunnedah Bulldogs playing the early game at 1pm.

The Saints and Eagles start 3pm and then head to the Gillies Medal presentation night afterwards at Wests.

It’s also a huge day for the Tamworth Kangaroos.

The third-placed Roos go to Armidale to play competition leaders and reigning premiers New England Nomads at Bellevue Oval. They do so with a good few weeks behind them and with a number of their best players back.

“We still had about four out today, too,” coach Brett Douglas said on Saturday. “The last couple of rounds have been good for us.”

Club stalwarts such as Luke Robinson and Dan Overeem were outstanding for the Roos.

Chris Rankmore and Brad Rees also had solid days, cage- fighting Ryan Painter was energetic and excelled in the ruck and around the ground while Michael Jones was impressive at centre half back.

“He did an extremely good job on Michael Gould,” Douglas said. “Kept him to a goal I think.

“He’s done the job we asked him to do today.”

Nic Frawley was another to star again for a side which goes to Armidale buoyant to face a side which beat Gunnedah Bulldogs by 50 points in Gunnedah last Saturday.

The Nomads kicked 19.12 126 to the Bulldogs 10.17 76 with Weston Whitby booting four goals, Matt Foley three and Dave Richards, coach Zac Economou and Isaiah Graham two apiece.

Andy Mack, David Vidovic, Ryan Cooper, Andrew George, James Mack and Mitch Swain were best for the Bulldogs while Thomas Hunt, Jon Freund, Matt Foley, Mark Spencer, Hugh Cook and Weston Whitby starred for the Nomads.

TAMWORTH AFL TABLE: New England Nomads 52 (238.10%), Inverell Saints 44 (178.40%), Tamworth Kangaroos 36 (132.23%), Narrabri Eagles 24 (70.23%), Tamworth Swans 8 (50.17%), Gunnedah Bulldogs 4 (51.43%). 

Roo ruckman Ryan Painter flies high to tip this ball up from Justin Pay. Nic Frawley (11) looks on for the Roos. 
Photo: Geoff O’Neill 160814GOC01

Roo ruckman Ryan Painter flies high to tip this ball up from Justin Pay. Nic Frawley (11) looks on for the Roos. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 160814GOC01

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