ORANGE Hawks will travel to Sid Kallas Oval on Sunday looking to break their 2014 Group 10 duck against a resurgent Cowra Magpies.
Heading into the competition’s battle of the birds on the back of a 42-24 round one loss to Orange CYMS before falling agonisingly short of their first victory of 2014 with a 23-22 defeat at the hands of Oberon, Hawks coach Tim Mortimer is hoping his side can lift on its first road trip of the season.
With Cowra splitting their opening two games of 2014 and recruiting well following the additions of Tim Holman and Jeremy Gordon, Mortimer says his side will be wary of tomorrow’s opposition.
“They’re a dangerous side,” he said.
“It’ll come down to defence. We’ve done a lot of work on that area of our game this week. I didn’t think we defended as well as we normally do against Oberon so I wanted to fix that.
“If we can shut down guys like Tim Holman then I think we’ve got the team to win.”
Adding weight to Mortimer’s creed is the addition of prop Arty Shead.
Following a barnstorming 2013, the injured kiwi has been forced to watch on from the stands as Hawks suffer back-to-back losses to open this season but, in a respite for the two blues, Shead will run on for his first game of the season on Sunday in Cowra.
Mortimer is also thrilled secondrower Chris Anau has been cleared of any serious damage to his knee after being helped off the field in Hawks’ last start one-point loss to Oberon.
Mortimer said with a near full strength side, it was now over to Hawks to come up with the goods.
“I say it every week, but it comes down to us,” the fullback said.
“We’re a little bit down on players (Todd Barrow and Alofi Mataele are still sidelined through injury), but we’ve still got the team to win. We need to focus on our own game and style of play so we can get back on track.”
In the other Group 10 game to be played this weekend, the Tigers host the undefeated Mudgee Dragons in Oberon tomorrow.
Hawks tackle the Magpies from 2pm on Sunday in Cowra.
ORANGE HAWKS: 1 Tim Mortimer, 2 Liam Brodrick, 3 Brock McGarity, 4 Jared Brodrick, 5 Jack Ryan, 6 Joe Lasagavibau, 7 Sandon Gibbs-O’Neill, 8 Arty Shead, 9 Mitch Hurford, 10 Dan Ryan, 11 Chris Anau, 12 Kurt McNamara, 13 Travis Bubb.