Moree coach David Silversides says the Bulls are acutely aware of the challenge in front of them at Scone on Saturday.
The Bulls embark on their longest road trip to tackle a Scone side enjoying it’s best season for a number of years.
“We’re anticipating a strong welcome from Scone,” Silversides said.
The Bulls claimed the points reasonably comfortably (42-10) when the two sides last met, but Silversides is expecting the Brumbies to be a different proposition at home, and spoke about needing to start well.
Not only to build their own confidence but also lessen some of Scone’s home ground advantage.
He is preparing for a pretty physical game and expecting the Brumbies to try and take them on through the middle early, but certainly isn’t disregarding their backs.
“They are a pretty well-balanced side,” he said.
They won’t be quite at full strength, the change in the draw meaning a couple of players are unavailable with prior commitments, but Silversides has faith in the players coming in.
“We’ve got a pretty strong group of players,” he said.
He highlighted the contest around the tackle as a critical area. Winning that battle will go a long way towards winning the game.
While they didn’t get the points against Pirates last week, the Brumbies were competitive at the tackle contest and unsettled the competition leaders.
“Obviously they do concentrate around the contact zone pretty heavily,” Silversides said.
“We’ll have to be on our game in that area.”
Inspirational Brumbies skipper Toby Twigg told the Scone Advocate the Brumbies are hoping their “home ground advantage” will unsettle the Bulls.
The other Tier 1 game sees Gunnedah hosting Walcha.
The Red Devils will be looking to bounce back after going down to the Bulls last week.
Leading at half-time, the momentum turned on a yellow-card to Red Devils prop Isaac Scholes, and along with getting their discipline in order coach Jason Waerea said they need to make sure their defence is right.
“They’re (Walcha) a point-scoring team,” he said.
The Red Devils’ defence stood up well to the test in their first encounter, holding the Rams to just 13 points, but there were still lessons to be learned.
“We have to make sure the guys are owning their pillar, post and not watching where the ball is going,” he said.
Rams five eighth Simon Newton is great at recognising and isolating players around the ruck, he said.
They also need to kick a bit smarter, and play to their strengths - not get sucked into playing the Rams game.
“We’re pretty confident we can match it with them in the forwards,” Waerea said.
In Tier 2 action, Barraba are at home to Quirindi and Narrabri host Inverell.
The Rams just missed out on the points against Tamworth while the Lions led Narrabri 17-7 at half-time but could only manage a try in the second half as the Blue Boars stormed home for a 40-22 win.