Consistency has been the focus for Gunnedah this week as they prepare to tackle fellow first round victors Werris Creek at Kitchener Park on Saturday.
The Magpies are coming off a 40-20 win over Dungowan while the Bulldogs produced a clinical first half display on their way to a 52-20 triumph over Narrabri.
They will field a pretty similar side, the only changes being players returning.
“KC Edmunds will have his first game for the club,” Bulldogs coach Sean Hayne said.
The Inverell native spent some time with the Newcastle Knights in the junior system there and has moved to town for work, and Hayne is excited to see how he goes.
“KC brings a little bit of size and he’s got good skills, and he can play 80 minutes. If I need to I can leave him out there,” he said.
Hayne played the former NSW under-16 indigenous representative in the back row on the right edge in the trial game he played, but will start him in the front row.
Rod Lawler is also back after missing the Blues game, and like Edmunds can play either front or back row.
After starting and finishing strongly, Hayne spoke about “making sure we play to our game plan and our structure, and we are switched on for full 80 minutes”.
Last week, whether it was complacency or what, after half-time they tried to push a few too many passes and went away from their game plan.
“It’s just about being more consistent,” Hayne said.
He said it will be good to see the likes of Dylan Lake in a bit of space, and the new halves combination of David Smith and Matt Brady continue to grow.
It will be the first time the Bulldogs have faced the Magpies since around the late 90s.
Hayne was playing for the Bulldogs back then and recalled a side that liked to throw the ball around.
He isn’t too sure who they have these days, although he did note that Stewie Porter’s name was there, but doesn’t imagine too much has change.
“They like to use the ball and play attacking football.
“We’ve got to be wary of it,” he said.
Consequently, they have to make sure they are nice and tight in defence around the A’s and B’s and concentrate for the full six tackles.
If they can do that it will go a long way to nullifying the Magpies’ attack.
In the other round two fixtures Dungowan host Boggabri and Barraba travel to Wee Waa on Sunday, while on Sunday Bendemeer head to Narrabri and Kootingal and North Tamworth match-up at Kootingal.
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