The Wentworthville Magpies Intrust Super Premiership NSW side take on the Wests Tigers this weekend, Ringrose Park on Sunday 24 April, and Magpies Head Coach Joey Grima says his side will need to be prepared for a dangerous Wests Tigers outfit.
The Magpies, who currently sit second on the ladder, suffered a 24-16 loss in a top of the table clash against Mounties two weeks ago, before a bye last weekend, and Grima says this week’s opposition will post plenty of dangers across the park.
“The Wests Tigers are coming off the bye as well and are sitting mid table, but they are a much better side than where they are positioned,” Grima said of the eighth placed opposition.
“They have good strong forwards that carry the ball hard and their back three in particular get their sets started well but their halves, Jack Littlejohn and Josh Drinkwater are probably their barometers and go to players.”
“Always after a loss, you always want to get back onto the horse and play next week but they have been in the same boat,” Grima added.
“We had the bye and freshened up and we are now looking forward to this weekend’s clash, ready to rip in and fix what we need to fix off the back of the Mounties game.”
Grima has named an experienced line up that includes NRL forwards David Gower, Rory O'Brien, Kelepi Tanginoa, Kaysa Pritchard, Cameron King and captain Cody Nelson in the starting side, and the Head Coach says the experience will help with the challenge of taking on the Wests Tigers.
“We have an experienced team but the problem with having an experienced side, and one that sits near the top of the table at this stage of the year, means that teams that play you this week come a little bit more prepared, a little bit more aggressive,” Grima said.
“You have to be on your best all the time when you are one of those top teams and that will be the challenge for us this week, but certainly we have the experience all over the park,” Grima added.
“If we play to our ability, and what they have been instructed to do, things will look after themselves.”
One change to Grima’s side is the inclusion of 18 year old Michael Doolan, who will partner Mitch Cornish in the halves.
Doolan has been called up from the Eels Holden Cup side, replacing an injured Luke Kelly.
“Michael Doolan has certainly been dominant in the Under 20s this year and has an opportunity, given that Luke Kelly has injured his knee and will be out for the season,” Grima said of his ISP debutant.
“We want Mick to keep it simple and stick to what he knows and we want him to gain some experience against some seasoned opposition.”
“The beauty of having somebody like Mitchell Cornish next to Mick means Mitch will continue the run show but Mick will just look after his edge.” Grima added.
“For him, it is more about a reward and recognition, and a bit of foresight and preparation for him moving forward.”
The Magpies kick off against the Wests Tigers on Sunday 24 April, Ringrose Park at 3pm. See the Wentworthville Magpies Round Eight team list here.