Group 4 second division: Werris Creek desperate not to lose to Roosters

In Werris Creek co-coach Ron Dellar’s mind, his highly experienced five-eighth Brendan Hunt is on a collision course with Kootingal-Moonbi match-winner Jordan Sharpe ahead of Saturday’s Group 4 second division clash.

Shut down Sharpe, and you shut down the Roosters.

That’s what Dellar believes.

And he wants his veteran five-eighth, who surprised the club when he returned to play this year, to make sure that happens.

In fact, Dellar told his players at training this week that he wanted them to pay 10 per cent extra attention to Sharpe than any other player.

He said it was not something he usually did, but Sharpe warranted such a tactic.

“He’ll (Hunt) look after him, for sure,” Dellar said.

“Brendan’s been around a bit ... he’s a pretty fair player. He was gonna retire but he came back again this season.

“It was a welcome sight when he came through the gate. A lot of things with our play revolve around him.

“If Kootingal were talking last night (at training) they’d probably say we’ve got to shut Brendan Hunt down.

“He’s got a few years experience on Jordan. There’s nothing like experience.”

Today’s clash at Werris Creek is an intriguing affair.

After struggling in 2016, the competition-leading Roosters are undefeated this year with three wins.

While reigning premiers Werris Creek went into the Easter break with renewed verve after responding to two losses to open the season with successive wins.

It may only be the fifth round, but there was an urgency in Dellar’s voice when talking about the match.

If the Roosters win, they would open a six-point lead on the fifth-placed Magpies and that, according to Dellar, would be a major blow to his side’s premiership defence.

THE VETERAN: Magpies five-eighth Brendan Hunt has the task of helping shut down Roosters pivot Jordan Sharpe at Werris Creek on Saturday.

THE VETERAN: Magpies five-eighth Brendan Hunt has the task of helping shut down Roosters pivot Jordan Sharpe at Werris Creek on Saturday.

“But if we win, we’ll be on their tail again,” he said, adding: “The comp’s very even, from what I’ve seen.

“I don’t want to be giving anyone too much of a start – you might not be reeling them in.

“Tomorrow’s pretty important to us.”

Dellar is embolden by the fact he may field a full-strength side against the Roosters.

Centre Peter Johnson (knee) is the only injury concern.

The Magpies are coming off a last-start 30-24 away defeat of Barraba.

Following that match, Dellar revealed the Magpies had already crossed off a goal for the season – win two games before the Easter break.

The Roosters beat a 13-man Boggabri 54-24 last start after trailing 20-18 early in the second half.

The six tries Kootingal ran in after that came as the game Roos finally wilted.

In other matches today, Manilla travel to Bendemeer, Walcha confronts Bingara at home and Uralla meets Dungowan at home.

Bendemeer had the bye in the last round, with Manilla coming off a 24-14 win over Uralla in round four.

Walcha should go into today’s game with plenty of confidence after hammering Dungowan 46-22 in the last round.

Bingara lost 30-14 to Bundarra in its previous outing.