St Albert's lose key locks for trip to Guyra

ST Alberts will lock into battle with Guyra tomorrow without their two locks.

The students will be without both Ollie Bartlett and Angus Howard for the trip up the highway. 

They’ll be in Campbelltown playing for the Country Colts against the Waratahs’ development side.

On top of that, the students will also be missing breakaway Mark Buttenshaw and inside centre Charlie Sykes.

It will test their depth but that is something they are blessed with, coach Tom Newsome said.

“You could have six or seven players out and not lose too much.”

They do, with Howard and Bartlett out, lose a bit of size  but they would be giving away size to Guyra anyway.

As they do most games.

That said, Newsome felt last week against Armidale their scrum held up well and the pack was “really good around the paddock”.

Like they did their first meeting with the Ghosts, Albies again find themselves looking to bounce back from a loss.

Guyra is a different proposition to Armidale but won’t be any easier.

“They really stuck it to Robb (last week),” Newsome said.

“I’m expecting it to be a tough game.”

Albies got the points last time but didn’t have an easy time of it.

“Even then, it was early in the season, the first 20 or 30 they really stuck it to us,” Newsome said.

“We know they’ve got the ability.”

“We’ll be looking for a consistent effort for 80 minutes.”

If they can do that, and get their share of the ball, they should be able to get over the top of the Ghosts.

One area they will be looking to address is their decision-making.

“Our decision-making was poor in the second half last week,” Newsome said.

“We didn’t get a lot of opportunities but when we did we made some poor decisions and put pressure on ourselves.”

Still, there was a lot of good stuff to take from last week.

“The first half last week was as good as footy as we’ve played all year,” Newsome said.

“We’ll be looking to try to replicate that.”

He felt they had the wood on the Blues in the first half, and controlled the game.

That swung around in the second half, with the Blues controlling the game.

The big thing for the Ghosts will be their discipline.

In the other game tomorrow, Armidale hosts Barbarians.


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