ORANGE Hawks captain-coach Tim Mortimer will use tonight’s Bathurst Panthers Knockout opener against Orange CYMS to nail down a combination he likes.
The two sides will clash in the pre-season derby at Bathurst’s Carrington Park tonight
Hawks are blessed with wealth of forwards this season and Mortimer said tonight’s game would be a chance to trial a few more combinations.
“We’re going to have a bit of a mixed team,” Mortimer said.
“We’re going to take it as a trial. We have lots of forwards so we’re still working out the best starting side.”
The winner from the all-Orange clash will go up against Cowra on Saturday morning.
The Hawks captain-coach said he was more focused on the team’s performance rather than the final result from the knockout.
“We want to try and do well. Having CYMS first up will be a good game and a good gauge of where we’re at,” Mortimer said.
“We have goals for our team. It’s a competition but it’s not the competition. We have to make sure we do our things right first.”
Mortimer said new forward Arty Shead would be leading the forwards.
Fellow senior player Todd Barrow is also expected to play a key role for Hawks.
Barrow said it was great to have a strong forward pack.
“That’s something we haven’t had for a long time, since I’ve been there,” Barrow said.
“A front row is pretty much what we’ve been lacking. With more forwards it will lighten the load for other boys.”
Barrow added he’s expecting a strong season from Hawks.
“Everyone’s pretty keen for the year,” he said.
“There are a few new players. There’s a really good feeling at the club.”
The Bathurst Panthers Knockout’s premier league competition will start at 7pm tonight and the grand final will be played at 5.35pm on Saturday.
The Hawks team for tonight’s match was to be finalised last night.
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