THE Group 10 rugby league competition takes a week-long hiatus during this weekend’s Easter festivities and with a depleted Orange Hawks suffering through two losses from the opening fortnight of the 2014 season, a break is just what Tim Mortimer’s men need.
Set to welcome back hulking prop Arty Shead for the team’s next match on April 27 in Cowra, Mortimer said the break is just the remedy Hawks need right now.
“It does [come at the right time], just those little injuries,” Mortimer said after his side’s disappointing one-point loss to Oberon last Sunday.
“We’ve got Cowra and then the Blackheath bye as well. Hopefully after that I’ll have our best team on the field and we’ll be giving the competition a bit of a shake.”
As disjointed a start to the competition as it may be, just one game in the next three weeks will be crucial for Hawks as they attempt to rekindle the sort of form that propelled the club to its first minor premiership since the 1999 season.
Injuries are the major setback to begin the year.
Compounding the absences of Shead, Todd Barrow, Alofi Mataele and Toby Wright on Sunday was the loss of prop Chris Anau, who limped off the field midway through the first half in Hawks’ 23-22 loss to Oberon.
“That’s rugby league though, we’ve just got to make do,” Mortimer said.
“That’s not an excuse because we had the team to do it [against Oberon] we just didn’t do it.”
Refusing to blame injuries, the two blues mentor was at a loss as to why Hawks weren’t getting the job done at the start of the year.
“A bit of bonding, we need more of that,” he said.
“We just need to play smart footy. We’re only fresh. There’s fresh combinations and not everything is going to work straight away. Give it time, a bit more training and we’ll be able to set a standard each week from there.”
Hawks travel to Sid Kallas Oval to take on the Cowra Magpies after Easter before enjoying another bye on May 4.
Grand finalists in 2013 following a thrilling 12-11 major semi-final win over CYMS last August, Mortimer was confident when his side’s troops return two blues fans will again see the best Hawks have to offer.