West Tamworth captain Shaun Stevenson has spoken about Old Boys’ mental hold over his side, ahead of their two-day clash at Riverside 1 on Saturday.
The exclamation mark on Old Boys’ dominance over Wests in recent years came in last season’s major semi-final at No.1 Oval, when Old Boys triumphed on day one after dismissing Wests for 37.
Stevenson conceded that Wests carried “mental scarring” from that performance.
He added: “It’s probably been a couple of years since we’ve actually beaten them.
“So we’ve just got to get over it and go out and play cricket the way we play cricket and not be too fazed how they do their job.”
Since 2013-14, when Old Boys began their run of four straight premierships, Wests have beaten them only three times.
Wests’ last win over Old Boys came in round 13 of the 2016-17 season. They have lost their past four matches against them.
Stevenson said: “Any time that you’ve got it over a side that you’ve beaten numerous times and you’ve put big scores on [it makes it difficult for the defeated side to rebound].”
Saturday marks the sides' first clash this season. Their round-two match was washed out.
After failing to win a fifth straight premiership last season, when South Tamworth beat them in the grand final, Old Boys find themselves in the uncustomary position of being in fourth place on the ladder heading into this weekend’s round-seven clash. Wests are in fifth place.
Stevenson was handed the captaincy this season after David Mudaliar guided the side to the preliminary final last season.
He admitted that beating Old Boys would be particularly meaningful.
“I think a win against Old Boys would just instil that bit of confidence in the players that have been there for a couple of seasons in first grade,” he said.
“Just to give them that confidence and belief that you can beat them, that Old Boys are beatable.”