ORANGE CYMS coach Mick Sullivan is expecting neighbours Orange Hawks to try and out muscle the green and golds in tonight’s Bathurst Knockout clash at Carrington Park.
Dubbed a “shotgun” competition by the 2010 Group 10 Player of the Year, Sullivan will watch on from the stands as CYMS tackle the Tim Mortimer-led Hawks in the opening premier league fixture of the $3000 to the winner knockout.
Not one to normally worry about the opposition, Sullivan admits to keeping one eye on the two blues throughout the pre-season.
He’s expecting an onslaught up front from the likes of Arty Shead and former CYMS prop Terawhiti Cooper.
“A few of the new boys the guys across town have picked up look good. They’ve made no secret they’re looking to be physical this season and with Timmy there, being a local boy, it might bring about a bit more passion,” Sullivan said.
“Wynney (last year’s captain-coach James Wynne) did a good job with them last year. I usually don’t worry about what other sides are doing but I’ve noticed them a bit.”
CYMS will take a largely understrength side to the knockout.
Along with Sullivan, backrower Kyran Bubb, prop Ben McKenna and hooker Sam Hill will also miss the knockout.
“I don’t want to risk Hilly at this stage,” Sullivan said.
New signing Ryan Prevett will don the green and gold, as will Ali Beale, Mick Nixon, Semisi Katoa and Ben McApline.
“First and foremost I don’t want to see any more injuries, but hopefully we get a bit more depth in attack, a bit more shape,” Sullivan said looking ahead to the game.
“It’s the time of the year to try new things. Hopefully we can get a bit of cohesion going and develop a few combinations. It’d be nice to see the backline get going a little bit.”
Hawks and CYMS have been drawn the toughest part of the knockout draw, with an improved Cowra waiting in the wings to tackle the winner of the Orange derby.
After that, either Mudgee or defending Bathurst Knockout and Group 10 premier league champions Lithgow are likely semi-final opponents.
Bathurst St Pat’s, Bathurst Panthers, Blayney and Oberon will contest the other half of the draw.
The final will be played at 5.35pm tomorrow afternoon.
CYMS and Hawks play at 7pm tonight at the Carrington Park.
n ORANGE CYMS: 1 Tim Bassmann, 2 Scott Piper, 3 Ali Beale, 4 Dom Maley, 5 Semisi Katoa, 6 Ben McAlpine, 7 Warick Colley, 8 Ryan Prevett, 9 Mitch Brown, 10 Brett Sargent, 11 Mick Nixon, 12 Josh Nixon, 13 Ben Gosper.