North West AFL: Tamworth Kangaroos to face Inverell Saints in minor semi-final

Tamworth Kangaroos coach Ben Mitchell had little hesitation when asked what his side need to do to win their North West AFL minor semi-final against Inverell Saints on Saturday.

Prominent: Matt Hodge was one of the Tamworth Kangaroos' best in their loss to New England last round, and will be a key man when they take on Inverell in the minor semi-final. Photo: Peter Hardin

Prominent: Matt Hodge was one of the Tamworth Kangaroos' best in their loss to New England last round, and will be a key man when they take on Inverell in the minor semi-final. Photo: Peter Hardin

“Start well” was the reply.

The Roos have been prone to slow starts.

Last week against New England they were blown off the park in the first half, with the Nomads kicking seven goals to the Roos’ one.

Similarly last time they played the Saints, they “gave up a six goal lead in the first quarter”. 

It effectively cost them the game as they fought back to finish within three points. 

“You can’t afford to do that. You need to be ready to go,” Mitchell said.

The Saints too are a side that really grow in confidence once they get in front.

“You get on top early anything can happen,” he said.

He has had to reevaluate his tactics a bit after losing two of his starting midfielders in the space of 24 hours.

“Not ideal”, they will still “go up there with a strong side”.

It has though meant he has had to disband with a plan to employ someone in a shut-down role on new Saints recruit Ben Gregory.

Gregory has proved a valuable pick-up after moving from South Australia.

“Last time we played them he kicked six goals from the midfield,” Mitchell said.

He will be one of the players they will need to nullify, Mitchell also mentioning coach Hayden Chappel and Michael Gould, who booted nine in a recent game against the Moree Suns.

Despite going down to the Saints that last meeting, Mitchell said they will take confidence from the way they fought back and their second half against the Nomads.