KOOTINGAL Roosters had some good news this week as they prepare for Sunday’s daunting home clash with Woodley Isuzu Ute Group 4 premiers North Tamworth.
The Roosters lost energetic forward Phil Beaton early on in last Saturday’s 40-20 win over Boggabri Kangaroos at Boggabri’s Jubilee Oval when it was thought he’d suffered a possible season-ending injury with a torn pectoral muscle.
However Roosters coach Geoff Sharpe was a much relieved man later this week.
“It wasn’t a pectoral muscle but a bicep tendon injury,” Sharpe reported.
“We’re hoping it might be just two or three weeks and not the season like we first thought.”
Beaton’s ability and experience would have been a huge asset against the Bears however having him back in a few weeks is a much greater prize for a Roosters side chock full of players from various clubs.
Matching them together and sorting out combinations has been and will be Sharpe’s biggest challenge let alone facing a Bears side chasing a fifth successive Group 4 first grade premiership.
“They are the benchmark, the side everyone is trying to catch up to,” Sharpe said.
“They’ve also had the same side the last two or three years and have probably the best player in the Group in Scott Blanch, good halves, a good pack and Shane Wadwell too.
“We’ve got blokes coming from different clubs who haven’t played together before. We were okay at Boggabri in patches but let ourselves down with some silly penalties and simple mistakes. If we do that against North we will leak points.”
He said he isn’t concerned about the final result but rather how the side plays as a team and how it can build pressure as a team and coping with the fatigue and “staying in the arm wrestle”.
He said fitting players such as former West Lions backrowers Kyle Cochrane and Jake McLoughlin to “edge” positions is part of the initiation process.
Both were outstanding against Boggabri last Saturday while Rooster prop Brodie Sowter polled the three points in the North West Farm Machinery AGCO Best and Fairest.
“Brodie has played for Kooty for the past couple of years,” Sharpe said.
“Went quite well last week. His first stint was good and then in his second stint he created some good opportunities for Mitch Doring.”
He said Mitch Dening’s first game for Kooty was also a nice debut.
Dening played for Narrabri last year but is living in Manilla while building a house in Tamworth.
“He’s going to be very good for us,” Sharpe added.
“He’s a very experienced player with loads of ability. He’s still coming back from two very bad injuries, a broken neck and badly shattered leg.”
Having him fit is his main concern so he can create havoc in the centres.
Sunday’s match offers plenty of interest, Sharpe said, of a club that is also preparing for a massive “charity day” against Dungowan Cowboys at Kootingal Oval on Saturday, May 19.
Roosters committeewoman Joanne Jones said this year’s annual charity day is for cystic fibrosis.
She said both teams will be decked out in special jerseys with those jumpers to be auctioned at the Kootingal Hotel after the game. There is also a huge raffle being run that day as well as a special merchandise and cake stall.
Further information on that day can be obtained from Joanne Jones (0427 060598).
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