Fresh on the minds of North Tamworth players this week has been their round one clash against the Blues, when they travelled to Narrabri as the defending three-time premiers and were ambushed in a 32-28 loss.
Since then, the Bears have been relentless in their disposal of the opposition, reeling off nine straight wins – including a 40-6 revenge win over a 12-man Blues in round six.
But Bears skipper Scott Blanch said beating the Blues in Narrabri is an altogether different challenge. Having scored 578 points and conceded 98 heading into the match, North Tamworth are expected to cross off that challenge.
“Obviously we’ve spoken about that [the round one loss] this week,” Blanch said. “We’ll go out there and see what we can do away from home.”
While the Bears have successfully employed a scorched earth policy since round one, the Blues’ form has been indifferent.
Along with the loss to North Tamworth, they have lost twice to Gunnedah, including last weekend’s 50-22 home defeat after leading 22-0 midway through the first half.
But Blanch gave short shrift to talk the Bears will face a vulnerable Narrabri on Sunday.
“Narrabri at Collins Park is a different Narrabri than anywhere else,” he said.
The Bears will field to teenage props against the Blues, with Jack Cameron returning to side to partner Alec Cocking in the front-row.
“They’re both young front-rowers but they’re tough and both play with the footy,” Blanch said.